MORE than £150,000 raised through the sale of the former Wibsey Park Lodge will be ploughed back into the park to fund improvements.

The three-bedroom lodge which lies on the edge of the park went under the hammer last week as Bradford Council looks to shed the number of properties it owns.

In recent years, the authority has sold a number of its buildings that it deems surplus to requirements as it looks to tighten its purse strings.

Earlier this year Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee, sitting as trustees of Wibsey Park, agreed to sell the now vacant park keeper’s lodge and use the income to invest in other areas of the park.

The Council sought an independent valuation of the building, which suggested a guide price of £95,000, but on the day it sold for £156,000.

There is a covenant for the building which means it will be used for residential purposes.

Those involved with the park say they are delighted with the outcome.

Sofia Lanovy Walsh, chair of the Friends of Wibsey Park, said while they initially wanted to keep the park and make it a community hub, they are pleased with the result.

She said: "Anything would have been fantastic, but we are all quite thrilled.

"We're really excited about the future."

The work now begins on formulating plans.

She added: "It's still such early days, there's lots of ideas floating around.

"Whatever we end up agreeing on will be fantastic for the park and it will be fantastic for the local community.

"It's going to be something that people will recognise as a positive for the park.

"It's going to be a really positive addition to the park."

And sending a message of 'watch this space' she added: "We are just really hoping the community will stick by us."

Back in March the park received £10,000 worth of National Lottery funding and a number of activities were held across the summer as part of the group's drive to promote the space as a 'healthy living park'

It's hoped the money from the lodge will help the park to continue to go from strength to strength.

Councillor Ralph Berry (Lab, Wibsey) said there had been problems regarding security and vandalism with the lodge.

He said: "I'm of the view this is very, very, very good news.

"We were expecting it to go for about half that."

He described it as as being the take-off point for the "renaissance" of the park and said councillors would be working with the friends group, which will be driving the vision, on how to move forward.

Former public toilets at a Bronte country beauty spot also went under the hammer at the auction, selling for £55,000.

The stone toilet block, at Penistone Hill, off Moorside Lane, which was only opened regularly during the summer, was closed by Bradford Council due to budget cuts in 2015.

Efforts to find another organisation to take the toilets over proved unsuccessful, with Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council also lacking the funds to take the facilities over.

The auctioning off of another Council owned property, 66 Garden Field in Wyke, a derelict house which has a guide price of £25,000 plus, was postponed.