Town Hall and Wesleyan Chapel to Get Repairs

The Town Hall may be upgraded to provide better facilities for plays and concerts.

The plans, presented at this week’s Community Services Committee by Chief Planning Officer, Craig Dryden, include modernisation of the toilets and kitchen facilities as well as addition of better changing facilities and a ‘Green’ room.

Craig said modernisation of the heating system would allow the boiler house on the side of the building to be removed, improving the exterior appearance. He also said improving the sound insulation would allow the embargo on noisy events, which has been in place for around four years, to be lifted.

The proposal are more modest than those originally proposed as part of the Porthcressa “Masterplan” but Craig feels the changes will make a significant improvement to the building.

He says the timescale for the work will depend on budget and, as the building is listed, getting the necessary permissions in place. However, it’s likely that the heating upgrade will be the highest priority because the current system is “on its last legs.”

He added that the Council will be looking to the Local Action Group and users of the building to fund part of the works as the facility offers a significant benefit to the community.

Councillor Fred Ticehurst was keen to see the “depressing back end” of the building improved and asked whether the “horrible” porch could be knocked down. He offered to bring a sledgehammer and knock it down himself.

However, Craig said they would be limited in what they could do because of the building’s listed status.

Members also heard that urgent repairs are needed to the Wesleyan Chapel.

The gutters need replacing and Craig says a contract has been awarded to Wright Construction to carry out the work at a cost of £13,150. Funding will come from the existing budget.

Council Chair, Mike Hicks, was keen that the windows, which he said were in a poor condition, should also be repainted as part of the work. Craig told members that had been included in the review but had not yet been budgeted.

Work to the Chapel is expected to start imminently.