Pioneer’s new owners ready

NEW CHAPTER: Pioneer House. (d14071106)
NEW CHAPTER: Pioneer House. (d14071106)

the keys to Pioneer House will be handed to Kirklees Council on Tuesday.

The council is the new owner of the historic 1878 building after it made compulsory purchase order against Stayton, which had owned it since 2005.

Kirklees began legal proceedings in 2009 in order to protect the building, in Northgate, Dewsbury, from further decay – resulting in a high-profile public inquiry in November 2010. The Secretary of State ruled in the Council’s favour in March 2010, and now final legal notices have been served.

Cabinet member for Regeneration and Housing Coun David Sheard said: “Our first priority is to carry out urgent repairs to protect the building from further decay, by making it safe and watertight.

“Many people in this town remember Pioneer House in its heyday, and while the council has the resources to repair the building, we must work closely with others to bring it back into full occupation and use.”

One of the project partners is The Prince’s Regeneration Trust which contacted the council after hearing about the increasingly poor state of the building.

The Trust is as an expert in heritage-led regeneration, working with communities across the UK to ensure that important historic buildings at risk of demolition and decay are preserved, regenerated and re-used.

Chief executive of the Trust Ros Kerslake said: “Pioneer House is a striking building of historic, social and architectural importance that cannot be left to ruin. It’s also a building that can provide a viable use for future generations.”

The council’s plans for Pioneer will be released in the autumn.