Council agrees to sell off Welholme Galleries with hope it will be transformed by buyer
The Welholme Galleries in Grimsby, which is to be sold
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 13 Apr 2018
The historic Welholme Galleries are to be sold by the council.
North East Lincolnshire Council Cabinet voted yesterday to sell-off the grade II listed building, which has fallen into a dilapidated state in recent years.
They hope that the move will allow new owners to come in and breathe new life into the building, so that it can be used and enjoyed by future generations to come.
The historic structure, which was built in 1907 incorporating the late 19th century Congregational Mission Church and Sunday School, most recently housed the museum collection and store, but has not been in use for some time.
In February 2008, the local authority acquired freehold ownership of the property, allowing it to maintain it rent free for a period of up to 20 years.
Welholme Galleries, on the corner of Hainton Avenue and Welholme Road, Grimsby. The council is seeking to find a new owner for the building
The freehold ownership of the building allowed the council to have control over the property, while at the same time removing the responsibility of returning it to the landlord in a good state of repair.
The listed building was then purchased by the council in May 2010, for £499,750 from The United Reformed Church East Midlands Synod Incorporated, with a restrictive covenant saying that the council could not sell the property within 10 years of the date of purchase, without the buyer entering into the same arrangement.
Welholme Galleries was previously used to house museum artefacts and for the display of local art, but has remained vacant for quite some time now. It has an annual running cost of approximately £20,000.
It is currently listed on the Heritage 'at risk' register for buildings requiring immediate work, although a schedule has been agreed for a series of work to remove it from this which would cost £60,000.
However a detailed study in 2012 predicted that to bring the building back up to "operational use" would cost in the region of £911,000.
At a meeting of the Council’s cabinet on Wednesday, councillors agreed recommendations to sell the property, with conditions included in the sale to address defects with building.
Former Welholme Galleries building, Grimsby
A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesperson said: “Cabinet approved the sale of the former Welholme Galleries.
“The site is currently listed on the Heritage ‘at risk’ register and the freehold disposal will be subject to agreement with the new owner that these defects will be addressed prior to any further investment.
“We hope that the sale of this magnificent building will imbue it with new life and remains a valuable asset to the community.”
The council hopes that the sale of the site will open it up to renovation from public and private sector organisations.
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