A PROMINENT town centre building is set to reopen for the first time in 15 years after a sale was agreed recently.

Haltwhistle Church Hall, on Main Street, was closed by church authorities in 2004 due to financial and health and safety reasons, before being purchased by a private developer in 2006.

Plans to turn the building into a hotel, lap dancing club, and old people’s home never came to fruition, and the building remained disused and run down.

However, estate agent Pennine Ways confirmed it had a sale agreed on the property.

The chairman of Haltwhistle Town council, Coun. Alan Sharp, heralded the sale of the property as a positive for the town.

“Haltwhistle may benefit greatly from this,” he said.

“I look forward to seeing the plans for the building, which has become neglected over many years, and working with the developers in whatever scheme that will take place.”

Last year, former Haltwhistle town councillor Jeanette Kendrew said the council should look into buying the hall if it came on the market.

However, councillors raised concerns over the potential cost of purchasing and renovating the building, which the council feared could be around £1m.

Coun. Sharp added: “As a town, we welcome improvements as that area of town has become untidy and the church hall is an important building and part of the town.

“It’s very important that we preserve and keep some of the features of the church hall.”

Ian Hutchinson, the Northumberland county councillor for Haltwhistle, said the news of the potential sale was an important milestone for a prominent building in the town.

Estate agent Pennine Ways declined the opportunity to comment.