PLANS are afoot to secure the future of a former stately home building in East Yorkshire as a community asset.

As The Press reported last week, plans to reunite Burnby Hall in Pocklington with the adjoining garden and visitor facilities have been scrapped.

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The Stewarts Trust, which runs the very popular Burnby Hall Gardens and Museum in Pocklington have said that, following extensive work over the past three years, it is 'with great sadness', that they have decided not to proceed with a plan to take on responsibility for Burnby Hall under the offer of an asset transfer from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

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The council, which currently uses the hall building as social work offices, agreed to consider a community asset transfer arrangement, subject to it being proved to be financially sustainable.

An East Riding of Yorkshire Council spokesperson said: "Now that the Stewarts Trust have confirmed that they no longer wish to take Burnby Hall, we will explore options with other interested parties, including Pocklington Town Council, with a view to securing a long term, sustainable use for Burnby Hall, which will complement its setting adjacent to the Gardens.

"There will be no immediate change to the usage of the building."

Pocklington Town Council want to hear from anyone who might be able to help keep the hall in public use.

A spokesperson said: "There are many possible ways that the hall could be used. It could be divided into areas or used on a shared bases by multiple groups to deliver local community-based services.

"Unless our community acts now, it is likely that the building will be sold. We have a short time for the Pocklington community to explore and put together detailed proposals for its future.

"The hall will need some refurbishment, and a detailed evaluation of the work required will need to be carried out. Whatever future use the hall eventually has will incur annual running costs, and these will need to be a part of detailed planning.

"There is a real appetite to keep Burnby Hall in our community so that it can be used and enjoyed by the residents and visitors to the town. The aim of Pocklington Town Council, our ward councillors and many others is to find a community-based solution to achieve this."

Any interested local business, local groups, charities voluntary organisations or anyone with a credible idea for future use of Burnby Hall as a community asset is asked to contact Pocklington Town Clerk at by February 14.