Plans for luxury holiday lets and wedding venue at Red House in Gomersal scrapped, with Kirklees Council now looking to sell the site

Plans to turn Gomersal’s Red House into a short-term holiday destination and intimate wedding venue have been scrapped, with Kirklees Council now proposing to sell the site to raise funds.
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Back in 2021, councillors gave the go-ahead to transform the Grade II* listed Georgian mansion – which has Bronte connections – into luxury holiday lets, which it said would “ensure it has a long-term future while remaining in public ownership”.

However, after a failure to receive any viable community asset transfer (CAT) applications, the former museum has now had the required funding allocation withdrawn following a recent review of the council's capital programme.

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Without the funding allocation, the commercialisation proposal is no longer viable.

Red House Museum, GomersalRed House Museum, Gomersal
Red House Museum, Gomersal

At next week’s cabinet meeting, members will be asked to consider proposals that will result in further savings across its revenue budgets.

A council spokesperson said the proposed plans could reduce council property running costs by around £240,000 per year while continuing to protect the core estate.

Under the proposals, the DRAM Sport and Community Centre in Huddersfield will be declared as surplus to the council's requirements as there is “no longer an internal need for the centre, and there are alternative community venues nearby”.

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It is proposed that the centre may be eligible for a CAT, which is an option that the council will explore. This will be determined early next year.

The plans also address the future of the HUDAWI Centre, in Huddersfield, which has been primarily used as a venue to support council service needs with some additional bookings made by the wider community.

The council will explore the option of a CAT for the centre. This will be determined early next year.

If proposals are approved, 1 Beech Street in Huddersfield would be sold to generate funds. The 0.5-acre site includes a two-story former Methodist Church Sunday School building with a large single-storey sports hall extension.

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The main building was closed in 2018 while the sports hall, which has remained open, is currently used by a gymnastics club. The council spokesperson said it has supported the club in identifying alternative premises to relocate.

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

Councillor Graham Turner, cabinet member for finance and regeneration, said: "The council is continuing to scrutinise all property across its estate to save the significant amounts of money required to enable us to produce a balanced budget in February.

"This has meant we are continually examining how we operate, and what alternatives are available to us.

"We understand the value that some of these buildings have within our communities, which is why we are committed to exploring the option of a community asset transfer wherever possible and we will help and support any organisation that has a viable plan for an asset transfer.

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“Continuing to reduce the number of buildings we operate from while creating a core of building assets means that we have the space we need to deliver vital services and provide office accommodation for staff while saving money.”