The firm selling Sheffield’s Old Town Hall has more than doubled its asking price - despite failing to find a buyer.
The Grade II listed building, which has been empty since 1995, was previously on the market for £1.25 million - reduced from £2 million.
But the sale was pulled from a property website only to be put back on at the new price of £3 million.
Campaigners who want to see the historic Castlegate building restored to its former glory have reacted angrily to the news and say the owners ‘owe it to Sheffielders’ to provide an update.
Friends of the Old Town Hall have called for a ‘clear statement’ from the building’s London-based owners and are urging the company to properly secure the site which has been blighted by vandals and thieves.
Valerie Bayliss, chair of the Friends of the Old Town Hall, said the group has sent letters to Avi and Orli Avital of G1 London Properties Ltd for a response on the matter. The firm has failed to reply or even acknowledge the letter.
A petition by the Friends, calling on the owners to work with them to resolve the building’s future, attracted some 2,500 signatures.
Group secretary Brian Holmshaw said: “We know there has been more vandalism this year and we hear there are signs of systematic theft of fittings from inside. That’s very bad news.
“Everything in the building is listed. We’ve written to the owners to suggest they do more to secure the building, though on previous form they won’t bother to reply to us.”
The group’s chairman, Valerie Bayliss said: “We believe a clear statement from the owners, Avi and Orli Avital of G1 London Properties Ltd, is long overdue.
“They own an important heritage asset which has been allowed to decay for years. They owe it to Sheffielders to explain the reasons why the building hasn’t been kept secure, why thieves and vandals haven’t been kept out and what justifies a much higher price for a building that hasn’t sold at a lower one.
“If the only result is an even longer period of neglect, that’s not acceptable. The owners have never made their intentions clear and don’t seem to understand the importance of the Old Town Hall though they are happy enough for their sales material to boast its listed and – as the latest ad does – its iconic status. If they think so much of that why don’t they maintain it?”
The Friends of the Old Town Hall was set up in November 2014 to campaign for the restoration and re-use of the site, empty and neglected since for over 20 years.
G1 London Properties Ltd bought the building in 2004, for a reported £650,000.
The Star contacted G1 London Properties Ltd for a comment on the price hike but no one responded.