A TRUST first formed in Victorian times to take responsibility for an iconic Bingley building has agreed to sell it to a developer.

The Priestthorpe Annex was built in the 1880s as a training college for the town. It is the responsibility of the Trustees of the former Bingley Technical School, with Bradford Council being the main trustee.

In recent years the building has fallen into disrepair, and this morning councillors representing the trust agreed to its sale.

The building has been largely empty since 2002, suffering from neglect to the point where it was judged to have “nil” value by a property consultant. However, the land was judged to have a value of up to £225,000, and at yesterday's meeting the trustees heard that a developer had made an offer "in that region" for the site.

Although the developer's identity remained confidential at the meeting, trustees were told they were likely to demolish the building and build seven four-bed town houses on the site.

A condition of the trust is that the building, or any money made from its sale, has to be used for the benefit of education in Bingley.

Ros Dawson, chair of Bingley Town Council, spoke at the meeting, saying: "For years we have campaigned for a good outcome for the building. It has caused so much concern over the years. It is sad that it is in such a state that demolition is the only option. At least Bradford Council has made progress, and that is welcome."

She called for the Council to make sure the developer acted quickly with the building, saying: "Bingley has been plagued by buildings that have been neglected by their owners, such as the Bradford and Bingley building. Please make sure the new owners do what they say they will do."

She also asked that the entire money for the sale go to the people of Bingley, as agreed in the trust, and called for the Council to foot the bill for marketing the building.

Richard Winter solicitor for the trustees, agreed, saying: "I believe it should be the Council and its estates service that covers this cost."

Councillor Simon Cooke (Cons, Bingley Rural), said: "This trust was set up with the purpose of supporting education in Bingley. While it is regrettable that the building is likely to go, we are getting a financial amount that will benefit the town."