THE foundation stone of a 130-year-old former school in Bingley will be protected if the building is demolished.

In June Bradford Council agreed to sell the derelict Priestthorpe Annexe, on Mornington Road, to a developer, referred to as "party D" for commercial reasons.

The likely outcome of the sale is that the building would be demolished and the site redeveloped as housing. Money from the sale would go towards education in the town.

The building is held by the Council as a Trustee of the former Bingley Science Arts and Technical School. A condition of the ownership is that it can only be used for “educational objectives which benefit both children and adults of Bingley.”

Due to this historical covenant on the building, the proceeds of the sale will go towards education in the Bingley area.

At a meeting of the building's trustees today (Thursday) they agreed to instead sell the building to "Party I" - a company linked to Party D by directors.

They also agreed to a request from Bingley Town Council to preserve the building's foundation stone - laid by Alfred Sharp, chair of the local School Board and president of the Bingley Technical Institute, in 1888.

Once used as a training college, the 19th Century Priestthorpe building, on Mornington Road, has been largely empty since 2002, suffering from neglect to the point where the building was judged to have “nil” value by a property consultant.

For years Bingley residents and local politicians have called for something to be done with the crumbling building.