Sheffield council postpones Birley spa sale

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Birley Spa bath houseImage source, Google
Image caption,
Sheffield City Council had said renovation work on the building was too expensive

Campaigners have been celebrating after a council postponed selling a Grade II listed Victorian spa building to look at its future use with the community.

Birley Spa Bath House was due to go to auction on Tuesday with a guide price of £70,000 to £100,000.

More than 900 people signed a petition calling for the council to look at putting it back into public use.

Friends of Birley Spa was delighted and Sheffield City Council said the delay would allow further consideration.

The building, in Hackenthorpe, is the last remaining Victorian spa in South Yorkshire still set in its original grounds, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The site has been used for bathing, boating, wedding receptions, community meetings and educational tours.

Image source, UK Parliament
Image caption,
Clive Betts said there were a number of ways in which the spa could be saved

The council had decided to sell it at auction because it could not afford to renovate it.

Abbey Beckett-Smith, from Friends of Birley Spa, said: "Birley Spa is a hidden gem that needs to be seen by a wider public.

"It is in a rather sad and sorry state at the moment but if the spa and grounds were restored, it could look beautiful again."

Clive Betts, Labour MP for Sheffield South East, who is supporting the campaign, said the spa was rich in heritage, especially its plunge pool.

"People used to go from the surrounding homes to the pool on holiday.

"It shouldn't be locked away or demolished, it's an important part of Sheffield's working class history."

He said there were a number of ways to save it, including the community raising its own funds or a trust helping support its efforts.

John Mothersole, the council's chief executive, said the delay would allow the authority more time to make sure all options had been considered.

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