Historic Headland hall could be sold

A DERELICT former church hall which was brought at auction by council bosses could be up for sale later this year.

Hartlepool Borough Council brought Morison Hall – which has stood empty for a number of years – on Hartlepool's Headland for 60,000 at auction last summer.

Since then the local authority has been repairing the roof on the arson-hit building, boarding up the windows and clearing up rubbish from around the outside.

Civic chiefs say they are keen to bring the building back into use as quickly as possible and are looking at a variety of options for its future use.

They include converting it for residential or commercial use and the building is expected to be on the market for private sale later this year.

Morison Hall has been labelled an eyesore and featured on Mayor Stuart Drummond's hit list of derelict buildings that could hamper the regeneration of the town.

The building, which went under the hammer at Leeds United's Elland Road stadium last July, also featured on Mayor Stuart Drummond's list of grot spots across the town.

The local authority used money put aside to tackle derelict buildings in town to purchase the property.

A council spokesman said: "Since buying Morison Hall at auction last year we have repaired the roof and carried out other work including removing rubbish around the outside and boarding up the windows.

"We are keen to see Morison Hall brought back into suitable use and we are currently looking at the potential for converting it for residential or commercial or community use with a view to marketing it for private sale later this year."

The building, in Church Close, has a cellar in the basement and two large meeting halls on the ground floor.

There is also a large open area on the first floor with a stage, giving the building a number of possible uses.

The building, which is still fire damaged from an arson attack in 2007, did have plans passed for conversion into six flats but the development never went ahead after permission lapsed.

Morison Hall had a starting price of between 50,000 and 60,000 at the auction.