Community groups are continuing to campaign for a liquorice museum in Pontefract in a bid to bring more tourists to the town.
Pontefract Town Centre Partnership (PTCP) and Pontefract Groups Togetherhave drawn up plans to turn theformer Pontefract Magistrates’ Court – which is now for sale – into the museum.
The groups hoped to get the building registered as a community asset but Wakefield Council has rejected their application, stating that a business plan had not been put forward with the request.
The groups have now submitted an appeal over the decision to the ombudsman.
Sir Bill O’Brien, PTCP secretary, said: “Getting the building registered as a community asset would mean if anybody else was to bid for the building, they would have to prove it would be for the benefit of the community.
“The ombudsman has given the council until May 8 to get back to him.
“An alternative for the museum would be to use part of the old dispensary building at Pontefract Hospital, but we are waiting for a reply from the ombudsman first.”
The former courthouse, on Front Street, is now for sale with GVA Leeds.
Sir Bill added: “It doesn’t really affect us that the building is for sale.
“There is no information as to who is interested in the site so we will just carry on as normal.”
Business leaders and residents showed their support for a liquorice museum at the official launch of the plans last year.
Christopher Marshall, former owner of Pontefract’s Wilkinson’s liquorice works, Peter Sanders, of Tangerine and Herwig Venneken, managing director of Haribo, all backed the plans.
Sir Bill said: “Pontefract is famous across the world for its liquorice. If we had a museum it could see tourists from across the globe coming to our town.
“There is a mountain of information about liquorice in Pontefract. We would be foolish not to take advantage of that to draw in tourists.”