Cabinet approves exciting plan to secure long-term future of Trowbridge Town Hall
Cabinet approved yesterday (27 September 2022) an exciting plan to secure the long-term future of Trowbridge Town Hall.
The Grade II listed building is owned by Wiltshire Council and over the last 10 years has been run by the Trowbridge Town Hall Trust, an independent charity. The building is going to be subject to extensive refurbishment and remodelling as part of the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) £16 million investment in Trowbridge, enabling it to provide a greater capacity to hold events as well as a diverse programme of cultural and social activities.
Cabinet has confirmed that the Trust are to be the end user of the Town Hall, when these works are complete, and will be granted a 125-year lease, to allow them to ensure sustainable use of the building in the long term. The council will continue to work with the Trust to make sure they are in a position to be able to take over the building, ahead of the lease being granted.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said:
One of the key aims in our Business Plan is making sure our towns are resilient, ensuring our communities are able to grow sustainably with access to leisure, arts, heritage and culture. The refurbishment of Trowbridge Town Hall is central to developing a unique cultural offer in the town, encouraging increased footfall into the town centre and helping to revive Trowbridge's poor evening economy.
The Trust has exciting plans for the Trowbridge Town Hall's future. By treating this landmark building as a community asset and transferring it on a long lease to a community organisation such as the Town Hall Trust will ensure that its future as a vibrant hub of activity in Trowbridge town centre is secure.
I am delighted Cabinet have put the local community at the heart of its decision to support the long-term future of Trowbridge Town Hall in this way.
The Trust's Director, Alan Wright, commented:
Today marks the culmination of a remarkable collaboration between a small but determined local community organisation, a little over ten-years-old, a pro-active town council, and a supportive unitary authority that understood the contribution a re-imagined Town Hall could make, not only stimulating the local economy but, also, becoming an exemplar for cultural and community activity throughout the region. We have already been recognised by the National Theatre as one of the most successful community arts organisations in the country, and we now look forward to making the Town Hall a venue the people of Trowbridge can be truly proud of.
A public engagement event is being planned for the coming months so local people can pop in to see the current refurbishment proposals. Details of this event will be promoted as soon as possible.
The report can be viewed at:
Agenda item 14 for the Future High Streets Fund - Trowbridge Town Hall Refurbishment and Asset Transfer
Towns Fund - Future High Streets Fund
The Future High Streets Fund aims to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that improves experience, drives growth and ensures future sustainability.
In total, 72 places will share up to £831 million from the Future High Streets Fund to help them recover from the pandemic by improving transport links, building new homes and transforming underused spaces.
Applications were invited for the Government fund, and Trowbridge was one of 100 towns shortlisted. In December 2020, Wiltshire Council was provisionally awarded £16,347,056 for Trowbridge. In May 2021 this funding was formally awarded.
Originally £8.1 million was allocated from FHSF and it has now been established that an additional £540,000 is required ensure the scheme is viable. The council is liaising with central government about the possible reallocation of funds between the FHSF projects to ensure the set funding and delivery timescales can be met.