Bosses at Dudley Council have denied that there are any plans to sell the borough’s ‘jewel in the crown’ despite recent speculation about the future of Himley Hall.
Reports suggested the hall and parts of the surrounding 180-acre estate could be sold as part of council plans to save £5.6m in the next three years.
But regeneration chief, Cllr Ian Kettle, said that rather than selling it off, the council would be looking at new ways of using the Grade II listed building to generate more income.
Last night, the council voted to approve a new five-year corporate estate strategy which aims to help maximise the potential of all the council’s buildings and land.
Cllr Ian Kettle, Dudley Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said that “the new Corporate Estate Strategy is much more than just a cost-cutting exercise.
“It is true that we will be looking at possible ways of reducing our costs. And it is true that could be achieved by disposing of some of our assets.
“But the review will also – and this is very important when we are talking about Himley Hall – look at ways of maximising the potential of our assets. It is already a very popular venue for weddings and conferences and brings in money for the authority.
“Coupled with its undoubted historical value, for me that very much makes it a jewel in the crown for this authority. We will be looking at ways we can make more use of it, rather than looking to sell it off.”