A FORMER museum building in Gomersal, which has links to the Brontes, is to be sold off after community interest bids were not considered “suitable”.

Kirklees Council, which owns the Grade II listed 17th-century Red House building, had invited expressions of interest from local groups wanting to take over the site in a community asset transfer.

It followed the closure of the museum in December due to budget cuts within the authority’s museums and galleries department, which was slashed by half.

But after considering three bids, the Council has now determined that none can progress and the historic building will be offered for sale instead.

Ward councillor Lisa Holmes, who was part of one of the bids, said she had been left “angry and frustrated” over the decision and hoped to appeal it.

She told the Telegraph & Argus that the newly-formed Gomersal Community Group had hoped to take over both Red House and the neighbouring Gomersal Public Hall.

But their bid for Red House alone had been turned down in part because it was too commercial.

“Our idea was that Red House would be more commercial, and that the public hall would be wholly for the community.

“If we could take on both buildings, the plan was for the main Red House building to be a nursery offering some heavily subsidised places to disadvantaged families, the barn would be a community unit, and the cart shed turned into a cafe and deli.

“This way the Public Hall could be completely for community use, with ideas for activities for older children and socially isolated older men.

“But as Gomersal Public Hall isn’t ready to go out for expressions of interest, the Council has considered the scheme for Red House on its own, and this is thought to be too commercial.”

Information given to interested groups states Red House cost the Council £30,000 a year to run and that groups could negotiate a percentage of commercial use of the building, up to 30 per cent.

A Council spokesman said: “The expressions of interest in an asset transfer received for Red House have been assessed and none of them were felt to be suitable for progressing to a full business case. Therefore in line with the decision made by the Council’s cabinet on 3 October 2016 a brief is being prepared to allow the property to be offered to the market.”

Charlotte Bronte was a frequent visitor to Red House in the 1830s when it was home to the Taylor family and her friend Mary. The building also featured in her novel Shirley.