Taxpayers will have saved about £1m in running costs when Kirklees Council finishes transferring unwanted buildings to community groups.
The council’s asset transfer scheme has been underway for a number of years and a new policy was approved in March this year.
A review has now revealed that 14 transfers have taken place with seven close to completion. A further 18 are underway.
Council officials have revealed that handing premises over to volunteers has saved £875,000 in maintenance and repairs so far.
The figure is likely to grow considerably when six further assets are moved off the council’s books.
Another 12 assets are being considered for transfer.
Buildings that have been handed over to volunteers to date include: Denby Dale Library, Holmfirth Civic Hall, Meltham Carlile Institute, community centres at Honley, Chickenley, Hunsworth, Howden Clough, Wooldale and Soothill, Paddock Village Hall, Skelmanthorpe Council Offices, Marsden Mechanics, public toilets at Holme and Holmfirth and East Bierley playing fields.
A group bidding to take on the former Dewsbury museum are thought to be close to completion but a deal to take over the now closed Red House Museum at Gomersal has fallen through.
One building that isn’t being made subject of an asset transfer is the former Mirfield Town Council Offices, which have been boarded up for about 18 months.
Kirklees Council evicted town councillors from the dilapidated premises after deciding it couldn’t afford the £600,000 worth of repairs.
In recent weeks the buildings on Huddersfield Road have been put up for sale with a £275,000 price tag.
It is thought they could be converted into flats or a restaurant.
Councillors have welcomed the policy, which was launched amid extreme cuts in funding to Kirklees from the government.
Paul Kemp, director of economy, regeneration and culture, told the council’s Corporate Scrutiny Panel: “Frankly, we have more buildings than we can afford to run.”
He said they had learned valuable lessons from early asset transfers and were now gaining a good understanding of which community groups would be able to run a council a building without it falling into disrepair and being abandoned.
At the meeting Clr Carole Pattison asked: “Will you take them back if the roof is falling in and the boiler is broken?”
Mr Kemp said the council had restrictive covenants on all asset transfers that allowed them to seize the premises back and to inspect it to make sure it was being properly maintained.
There are also rules on the scale of commercial operation that can be run from a public building that has been handed over for free.
Mr Kemp added: “I’m very clear that this isn’t about getting rid of buildings to community groups.
“I will only recommend a transfer if there’s a sustainable plan, otherwise we are failing the council and the community group.”