Page last updated at 10:27 GMT, Friday, 8 May 2009 11:27 UK

Historic town hall goes on sale

Birkenhead town hall
The town hall sale is part of a council 'asset review'

A former town hall in one of UK's grandest squares has been put up for sale by a cash-strapped council.

Birkenhead Town Hall, Wirral, stands on Hamilton Square, which has the largest collection of Grade I-listed buildings in England after Trafalgar Square.

Council officials say there is no set asking price for the building, designed by architect Charles Ellison in 1887.

The sale is part of Wirral Council's Strategic Asset Review which includes the closure of 11 libraries.

Official business was moved to Wallasey after local government reorganisation in the 1970s.

The town hall has since been used as a museum and as a focal point for jubilee celebrations.

Clock tower

Anyone interested in buying the building will have to fill out a questionnaire designed to assess their suitability and whether their proposals are viable.

The building has a 200ft (61m) clock tower, which is a landmark on the banks of the River Mersey.

Wirral Council's head of asset management Ian Brand said: "We are looking for organisations to bring forward proposals that respect the building and that can demonstrate a long-term sustainable use.

"We are determined that the former town hall will once again become a busy focal point for Hamilton Square."

The sale website boasts of the building's "stunning interior" which includes "magnificent civic rooms, beautiful stained glass, colourful hand-crafted tiles and a sweeping grand staircase with pink marble balustrades".

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