Future of Sheringham Town Hall in question after council agrees to relocate
PUBLISHED: 11:49 06 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:00 06 March 2019
Sheringham Town Hall is set to shut is doors to the public, after councillors pushed ahead with plans to relocate to the community centre to cut costs and improve accessibility.
Built in 1901, the four storey building has downstairs offices and a single toilet, with the second floor council chamber accessible only via a steep and winding staircase.
Running expenses, including rates, power and water, are around £23,000 a year, and according to deputy mayor Liz Withington, a move to the Holway Road community centre would lead to a considerable reduction in costs.
“There are two main reasons we need to move,” Cllr Withington said. “One is the fact that the town hall is not accessible to large sections of the community, and the other is that although moving will have a financial impact, in the long term, it will save the town money.
“The room we will be using at the community centre brings in less than £2,000 a year and represents just four per cent of the building and, with the admin team on site, it will give the council greater control over how the centre is managed and the potential to increase hire income.”
Around £24,000 has been earmarked for repairs to the town hall, cash which could be better spent elsewhere, Mrs Withington added.
The administrative team will move to the centre in the summer, with the council looking at taking professional advice on the future use of the town hall, which could be let or sold.The future of the community centre, which is currently running at a loss, was called in to question last year, with some councillors suggesting it should be sold.
However, 92pc of respondents to a survey carried out by the council said they centre should be kept, with 84pc saying it was essential to the health and well-being of the community.
Sheringham mayor Madeleine Ashcroft said: “It is important that these priorities are put in place as quickly and efficiently as possible in order that the anticipated savings can be felt by the community and the town council can meet the needs and priorities of the people we represent.”