Gymnasium could become a £100,000 museum store

THE bulk of Calderdale’s museum artifacts could be transferred to Spring Hall.

It would cost about £100,000 to adapt the former gymnasium in Huddersfield Road, Halifax. But it would free up space in the former Sowerby Bridge Swimming Pool and the Thomas Street store, by the Piece Hall.

The move would also ensure the artifacts, including art, furniture, domestic, social and industrial paraphernalia, could be properly and safely conserved for future display.

Calderdale Council Cabinet has been asked to sanction the transfer at its meeting on Monday. Failure to make a speedy decision could jeopardise plans to demolish the Thomas Street store and create a community centre on the site, linked to Square Chapel. Work on the Orange Box project is due to begin in September, according to communities spokesman Robin Tuddenham.

The council has spent years searching for somewhere to put thousands of historic items, many of which have been donated.

Experts have taken a detailed look at nine mainly industrial buildings. The gymnasium, built in the 1950s, is thought to be most suitable.

Conversion work would include security measures, strengthening the floor and putting in mezzanine to provide more space, said Mr Tuddenham in a report to councillors.

“This project will create a number of apprenticeships, as the work will be carried out as a partnership project with Calderdale College.”