Town Hall is sold...now the old pool

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ONLY three weeks after selling Brighouse Town Hall for £136,000, councillors have agreed to sell the town’s old swimming pool.

They have also decided to give Hebden Bridge Picture House to a voluntary group, if it can produce a detailed plan to improve the building.

The pool, pictured, in Mill Royd Street, closed in 2006 and a new one opened at Wellholme Park last autumn.

Businessman Bill Ibberson, who owns nearby Sugdan’s flour mill, has put in an offer for the pool and adjoining car parks. He would also like to acquire nearby Daisy Street car park.

But Calderdale Council Cabinet decided that for now it is only prepared to declare the pool and adjoining car parks surplus to requirements.

On the advice of economy spokesman Barry Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) the council will get two independent valuations for the site and sell it to Mr Ibberson and his company Younger Homes for the best price.

The cabinet was told that Hebden Royd Town Council and Hebden Bridge Community Association wanted to take over the Picture House.

They and cinema- goers were concerned that the council-owned building could close in the medium term because of spending cuts.

The council spends just over £200,000 a year on staff and associated running costs and receives a similar amount from tickets and other sales, plus the rent from two shops.

However, £40,000 will be needed for a digital projector and tens of thousands will have to be spent on repairs.

Coun Pauline Nash (Lib-Dem, Skircoat) said the council would not suffer a significant loss of income from handing over the cinema.

l What do you think of the sell-off? Email us: yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk