Sheffield’s Old Town Hall now has a buyer who ‘loves the building’Posted by: Ashley Birch
After years of neglect the Old Town Hall has been bought by a mystery buyer, just weeks after Friends of The Old Town Hall launched a petition to rescue the listed building
Sheffield’s Old Town Hall building, which has been left to crumble in Castelgate since the 90s, finally has a new buyer ‘with a really good vision to redevelop’ it, according to Councillor Mazher Iqbal.
The cabinet member for business and investment let slip on radio that the nearly 200-year-old Grade II-listed building, which used to house the city’s court, was no longer in the hands of absentee developers G1 London Properties.
He told interviewer Gul Nawaz during BBC Radio Sheffield's Eastern Air show on Sunday night: “At the 13th hour somebody's come in, bought the place and has a really good vision to redevelop it, keeping its heritage as well, and for me that's another plus for Castlegate.
“We've got somebody who's Sheffield based, loves the building, loves restoring.
Adding: “I've got a meeting with him tomorrow (Monday) to look at how can the council support this individual in bringing this beautiful building back into use.”
The identity of the buyer is yet to be officially confirmed, but VIBE has learned that they already have other city-centre interests near West Street, as well as the Cannon Hotel pub.
Friend’s of the Old Town Hall, the campaign group who recently launched a petition to save the building, only heard news of the sale the following day and have had to do some ‘rapid thinking’ in the interim.
Valerie Bayliss, who chairs the group, said: “The news of a sale came out of the blue.
“We’ve said from the outset that we would welcome an owner prepared to bring the Old Town Hall back into use while respecting the building. But at the same time we’ve had enough work done, by professionals, to know the magnitude of the costs of doing this and we remain somewhat sceptical of the potential for a purely commercial solution, given those cost.
“We would welcome an early discussion with the new owner to hear more about their plans and judge whether we might be able to offer any help, but we are aware of the magnitude of the task, and don’t assume that the fact of a sale will automatically resolve all the Old Town Hall’s problems;
“We will be watching developments closely and will continue to press the City Council to be ready to step in, in support of us, if there’s no progress; so our petition asking the Council to commit to compulsory purchase if necessary, remains valid.”
For more details as this story develops, keep checkin back with VIBE in the coming weeks for what could be potentially great news for the area.