Nottingham City Council took the decision to sell the Old School Hall on 12th November 2017, confirming that the building was excess to their requirements. This has been expected, following the closure of the Hall as a Community Centre and boarding up back in the autumn of 2016. However not all has been plain sailing: there was some confusion about how the decision was communicated to community stakeholder groups; and the complex process of selling a registered Community Asset has only recently begun.
A Nottingham Post article came out on 17th November, quoting the chair of STARA (Sneinton Tenants and Residents Association) as saying the building is derelict and unsafe, future community use is not viable and the sale must be made to a commercial company who could make money out of it. Reassuringly, Councillor Toby Neal is quoted as acknowledging that the building is an Asset of Community Value and any new owner must have a strong element of community value as part of their plans. Strong support is also quoted from people living and working near to the Old School Hall:
"Not an eye-sore at all... It is definitely run down, but it’s been around since the 1840s. It is one of the oldest buildings in the area and is an important part of the community."
"I hope they don’t demolish it and are able to find some kind of sustainable use to it."
"It’s a green, calm place, with a lot of love attached to it. It’d really be a shame if it were demolished."
So the Council must try to find a purchaser with the resources to repair and maintain the building, who can demonstrate "a strong element of community value as part of their plans". As with any Asset of Community Value, there is a 6 month period during which there is a moratorium on selling the building to anyone except a community interest group. Only after this period, if no sale has been agreed to a community interest group, can the building can be sold on the open market.
The 6 month moratorium period will end in early July 2018- and the search is on for a suitable purchaser: So spread the word, dOSH would be happy to work with any party who can demonstrate a strong commitment to community value and to bringing new life to this well-loved historic building.