‘Huge concerns’ as Sheffield’s Old Town Hall on sale for £2million

editorial image
0
Have your say

Have you got a spare £2 million? If so, you could be the proud new owner of Sheffield’s Old Town Hall.

The building – which campaigners say has been left to rot for years – is up for sale for the six-figure sum.

But campaign group Friends Of The Old Town Hall have expressed ‘huge concerns’ over what is being done with the Grade-II listed building.

Once a cornerstone of the city’s democracy and justice, the former law court and council chamber has lain dormant since 1996.

The old meeting benches are still scattered across the main room in the building on Waingate.

The property is listed for sale with estate agents Michael Berman & Co.

The listing says the 42,000sq ft building, set over eight levels, could be used for a residential development.

Valerie Bayliss, of the Friends of the Old Town Hall group, said: “I think £2 million for the property is extraordinary. It was bought for about £650,000 and it has decayed since.

“We have asked the owners what they are doing with the building, but they won’t talk to us.

“We are hugely concerned. The condition is just getting worse.

Pictured is the The Old Town Hall at Wainegate Sheffield City Centre

Pictured is the The Old Town Hall at Wainegate Sheffield City Centre

“We can’t go in there, but there are people who go in to take photographs and put them on the internet, and you can see the place is slowly deteriorating, plaster peeling off walls, ceilings coming down.

“Last year it was up for sale with a different estate agent, but it disappeared after about 10 days.

“You have to wonder what they are doing.”

Ms Bayliss said the group has hired a professional consultant to assess what the building could be used for, with an emphasis on public uses.

She added: “The first priority has to be restoring and regenerating the building.

“We have commissioned a professional consultant to tell us what uses would be feasible, and that report should be coming back in the autumn.

“There are a lot of people who say that it really needs to stay in public use.

“But whatever is done, it needs to be financially sustainable because even if you can regenerate it with grant money, you need to find a use for it that washes its face.”

**ALL PICTURES MUST BE CREDITED TO CHARD REMAINS