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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Youth House Museum plan ditched - building could be up for grabs

Pennine Horiizons recently made the decision that they didn't have the resources to put into place the "Eco-Museum" they had been planned for the Youth House Building, which could now be the latest council owned building to be sold off to private investors.

Calderdale Council's Leader, Cllr Janet Battye, says she wants to make sure that no other community groups want to use Youth House, Hebden Bridge, before it's put on the open market. Cabinet had approved in principle a proposal submitted by Pennine Heritage Limited to take over the responsibility for Youth House under the Council's Community Management of Assets programme.

Under the proposal, Pennine Heritage would have developed Youth House as a heritage attraction and the group submitted its ideas for how the proposed centre would be run. But the group has now withdrawn its proposal and Calderdale Council's Cabinet needs to formally reverse its decision to transfer the building to Pennine Heritage when it meets on Monday (June 6).

Cabinet will also consider a recommendation to declare the property surplus to requirements and put it up for sale on the open market.

But before the building is sold, it is being recommended that ward members, the Town Council and local MP are consulted to ensure that there are no other alternative sustainable options for the property.

Cllr Battye said she was disappointed that the group had withdrawn its proposals. "This was an extremely imaginative scheme and I'm really sorry that the group feels unable to go ahead with it in this form. "But I am particularly keen to ensure that before the Council puts the property on the open market, we make sure that no other groups want to take over the building for any affordable, sustainable use. "The building is ideally situated in the centre of Hebden Bridge and would suit a variety of uses by community groups."

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