Red House: Councillors approve selling off of listed Georgian mansion in Gomersal which has Bronte connections amidst cash crisis

Councillors have approved the selling-off of a Georgian mansion in Gomersal in a bid to save cash.
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Kirklees Council’s cabinet members have approved selling Red House as it continued to grapple with a financial black hole.

There had been plans to turn the Grade II listed building in to a venue and holiday accommodation,

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But there have not been any viable community asset transfer bids, so the council says the required funding allocation for the former museum has been withdrawn.

Red House in Gomersal.Red House in Gomersal.
Red House in Gomersal.

Without that funding, the council says the venue and holiday accommodation plan “is no longer viable” and the building should be sold to generate funds.

Red House was the home of Charlotte Bronte's friend Mary Taylor and is believed to have served as inspiration for in her novel ‘Shirley’.

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. "

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The cabinet meeting also heard an update on the authority’s budget, which the council says has improved.

The forecast overspend has been cut from £20.3m to £16.1m, it says.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Over the past year, the council has implemented a series of actions to reduce costs.

"This has included a major reduction in recruitment, a review of the authority’s investment programme and removal of non-essential spending.

"It has also brought forward a series of savings proposals to reduce costs in the current year as well helping the council make around £47m of savings needed to set a balanced budget for 2024/25.”