Go-ahead to turn former Red House museum into holiday flats

Council chiefs in Kirklees say investing in a listed historical building with connections to the Brontës will ensure it has a long-term future while remaining in public ownership.

Red House, Gomersal. Photo: Red House Yorkshire Heritage Trust
Red House, Gomersal. Photo: Red House Yorkshire Heritage Trust

There was cross-party support for a plan to turn Gomersal’s Red House formerly a museum, into a short-term holiday destination and intimate wedding venue.

In proposing the £600,000 project to Kirklees Council’s cabinet on April 13, senior councillor Graham Turner described it as “something of a departure on how we would normally deal with assets that we can no longer afford to keep, and which we have no strategic need for”.

The Grade II* listed 19th century manor house will be comprehensively refurbished and sympathetically remodelled to become a five-star high-end luxury holiday home for commercial holiday letting, accommodating 10 people within five bedrooms to be let as a single holiday cottage unit.

The site’s cart shed will be remodelled and refitted to provide four individual self-contained holiday apartments, each accommodating two people, available to book either individually or in addition to the main house.

The barn is not included in the commercial proposal and remains a community asset.

Revenue generated from holiday stays is expected to be sufficient to cover the costs of operating the site and to enable a series of open days/weekends ensuring community access to the site for planned and curated activities and events.

There will also be a room for weddings.

The handover could be as soon as March 2022 with the house open for holidays in April.

The project has received cross-party support.

Coun David Hall, a Gomersal member and also leader of the Conservative group on the council, said turning it over to part commercial use represented “an imaginative solution”.

He and his colleagues Lisa Holmes and Michelle Grainger-Mead previously referred to Red House as “the heritage jewel in Gomersal’s crown”.

The site will not be completely devoted to commercial hires. Community access to the house and gardens will be offered over a series of managed and curated events and open days, thus allowing the public to enjoy the house and grounds.