College site could become new homes

Batley Centre, which is part of Kirklees College and is up for sale. (d31011255)
Batley Centre, which is part of Kirklees College and is up for sale. (d31011255)

KIRKLEES College has put its Batley Centre up for sale.

The centre, formerly the technical school in Cambridge Street, provides adult education, which the college said would be provided through ‘partnership and collaboration’ with Kirklees Council and the community.

The college’s business, training and development unit, which is also based at the Grade II listed building, is to be relocated to its Dewsbury Centre.

It isn’t yet known how much the 27,400 sq ft building is likely to fetch, but the firm Doug Haigh Phillips, which is marketing the building, suggests it is used for creative media space, offices or possibly as new homes.

The site spreads over 1.28 acres, and has space for parking for up to 75 cars.

Kirklees College principal Peter McCann said Batley Centre’s sale was part of the college’s long term estates strategy.

He said: “The college is looking to expand adult education in the area through greater partnership and collaboration with the local authority and community groups and centres. This method of provision has proved more successful in reaching all parts of the community and will be our focus going forward.”

Batley Technical College, which boasted accommodation for 300 students, was built at the same time as Batley Baths, and opened in 1893.

Local historian Malcolm Haigh suggests in his book The History of Batley builders working on the Baths and college mixed up their materials, as a stone mermaid perches over the doorway of the college, and the face of learning peers from the Baths’ facade.

Mike Haigh of Dove Haigh Phillips said: “Internally it is a very beautiful building which due to its former use has great natural daylight.

“It would suit alternative uses subject to planning for creative media space, offices, a management training centre, educational use or potentially residential.

“It is situated in the heart of Batley within the conservation area.”