Keighley's county court building sold

Keighley News: James Turner, who has bought the former Keighley county court building, stands with Ian Hayfield, of Hayfield Robinson, outside the town centre property James Turner, who has bought the former Keighley county court building, stands with Ian Hayfield, of Hayfield Robinson, outside the town centre property

Keighley’s county court building in North Street has been sold.

The disused property has been bought by Addingham-based property developers Turner Developments, despite the company’s unsuccessful application for funding from the Keighley Townscape Heritage Initiative.

The £2.7 million regeneration scheme, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Bradford Council, has been offering town centre property owners money to restore rundown Victorian and Edwardian buildings.

Turner Developments managing director, James Turner, said his business had hoped to gain funding to help towards an estimated bill of £60,000 for repairs and refurbishments required at the old court building.

“It’s not the end of the world, and we’d never thought we’d get the full £60,000, but we’re a bit frustrated to have been turned down,” he added.

Mr Turner said the reasons given for the refusal were the former county court building was not high-profile enough, and that his firm would use the grant money for repairs rather than renewals.

Despite this setback, he is still looking forward to being able to bring the premises – which date to 1831 – back into use.

The building has been empty for about 18 months, and includes the main court room, offices and waiting rooms.

“It’s got a lot of history, and we believe it’s one of the finest looking buildings in Keighley town centre,” he said.

“We would like to give the place a facelift, modernise it inside, then let it out either to an office occupier or retail. It’s got a secure car park at the back, it’s right in the heart of the town and is next to all the banks.

“It would be an ideal place for a firm of solicitors – ‘the old court house’ would be a fantastic address.

“We’ve done a lot of development in Keighley before – we bought the former Ponden Mill headquarters and distribution centre in Royd Ings two years ago and refurbished that.”

No one from the Keighley Townscape Heritage Initiative was available for comment at the time of going to print.

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