A DERELICT building has gone up for sale in a bid to bring it back into use after years of neglect.
Hartlepool Borough Council has launched a bid to find a company or organisation to buy the former Odeon cinema building, in the town’s Raby Road.
It is currently privately owned and has stood empty for the past 11 years, but has significant potential for conversion.
The building has featured in the Mail’s Spot the Grots campaign aimed at highlighting derelict sites that spoil the look of the town.
Built in the 1930s, the cinema was designed with a single storey auditorium with room for 1,600 people and was a very popular entertainment venue.
It closed as a cinema in 1981 and subsequently had a number of uses, including as a snooker club.
The 1990s saw it converted into a nightclub with two small cinema screens. The building finally closed its doors in 1999.
The whole of the building is Grade II listed and the front features two impressive Grecian-style stone friezes above the main entrance.
The Raby Road frontage also includes a single storey extension for three small shop units which could potentially have a separate future use from that of the main building.
Rob Smith, the council’s senior regeneration officer, said: “The building occupies a prominent position on a main route into the centre of Hartlepool and we are determined to finder a buyer with a viable scheme to convert it sympathetically and bring it back into permanent use.
“The buyer could be from the public, private, community, voluntary or charitable sectors and there is potential for a wide range of new uses for the building, provided that they do not negatively impact upon the surrounding residential neighbourhood.”