Campaign group invite Old Town Hall’s new owner to open meetingPosted by: Ashley Birch
The Old Town Hall
Friends of The Old Town Hall say, ‘He’ll find a friendly audience’
Following last week’s news, that The Old Town Hall on Waingate has been bought by a new owner with a ‘really good vision‘ who apparently ‘loves the building’, the campaign group Friends of The Old Town Hall are inviting the building’s new owner to their next open meeting on 28 March.
News of the sale to an apparently sympathetic purchaser, after years of serious neglect at the hands of the previous owners London G1 Properties, is ‘very welcome’, say the Friends, and they are very keen to meet with the new owner to discuss his plans for the Grade II listed building.
“We invite the new owner to meet us at our next Open Meeting on 28 March”, says Brian Holmshaw, joint honorary secretary of the Friends. “He’ll find a friendly audience of people enthused by the few comments that have been made in public about the owner’s plans for the building.
“The previous owners, London company G1, never bothered even to reply when we asked them to meet, but we’re a community group that’s always been ready to talk to anyone aiming to restore this wonderful building with proper respect for its architectural and historic significance’.
In a statement made yesterday (11 February), the group also warn that the problem is not yet solved due to the sheer scale of the damage the building has sustained since it was last in use back in the 90s.
Brian said: “We don’t want Sheffielders to think the problem’s sorted. There’s a very long way to go”.
“The Friends know probably better than anyone in the city what the task looks like, and, crucially, what it’s going to cost.
“This is because they raised grants for extensive professional work on the building’s condition, what could be done with it and what work is needed. We’re still the Friends of the Old Town Hall and we’ll be monitoring developments, ready to speak out if need be”.
Until the proposed meeting, the petition launched just days prior to the announcement by the group who have been campaigning for the buildings restoration since 2014, is set to continue and can be found here. “It’s a petition to the City Council’, says joint honorary secretary Joy Bullivant: “and it’s still relevant. We know big projects like this one don’t always work out.
“We wish the new owner well, and we hope he’ll come and talk to us. But if it does run into the sand, the Friends will still be here, ready to move on with the plans we’ve worked out for regeneration, able to demonstrate great public support but relying ultimately on the City Council to help them move forward.”