Thornhill battles to save old council offices

Thornhill battles to save old council offices

A CAMPAIGN is under way to save Thornhill’s former council offices from the clutches of developers.

The building, which may be turned into flats, goes under auction on Thursday, February 25, with a guide price of £175,000.

Resident Anthony Jennings wants to keep the premises for public use through crowd-funding.

Mr Jennings is seeking £5,000 in online donations as part of a bid to take over the building. He hopes this will persuade Kirklees Council to delay the sell-off so alternative community uses can be explored.

In 2013, the former Walker Welfare Community Centre on Edge Lane was demolished and Mr Jennings said: “Thornhill Lees Community Centre is also earmarked for closure.

“As a result, people in this area will have to travel further and further to use this sort of public amenity.”

He suggested that a museum or gallery for local history, financially supported by a tea room, could be created.

Suggested topics for exhibitions include mining, textiles and the rise of the Savile family, the history of Anglo-Saxon/Danish/Norse migration into Yorkshire and the explosion at Thornhill Hall.

It could also be used for presentations plus yoga, fitness and painting classes says Mr Jennings.

He added: “There’s a wealth of history in the village and I don’t want to see it forgotten.

“I’m appealing to Kirklees – the building has been empty for about 15 years, so what’s three more months?”

The Victorian villa, on The Common, was home to Thornhill Urban District Council in the days before Kirklees.

It was most recently used as a library and health clinic and had planning permission for conversion into four flats, which has now expired.

Mr Jennings added: “It would be really sad to see this great building go into private hands.”

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