Whitchurch Civic Centre refurbishment set for funding approval
Shropshire Council’s Cabinet will soon (Wednesday 6 June 2012) be asked to agree a grant from the Market Towns Revitalisation Programme (MTRP) towards the refurbishment of Whitchurch Civic Centre.
A £1.68m refurbishment project has been drawn up to enhance the Civic Centre and, at their meeting on 6 June, councillors will be asked to allocate £264,000 of MTRP funding towards the first phase of improvements.
Local councillors have already agreed the grant in principle, but as it exceeds £140,000 it must be approved by the council’s Cabinet.
The refurbishment and improvement of Whitchurch Civic Centre has been identified as a key project within the MTRP. The project proposals involve improvements to the façade, internal alterations to create a more welcoming foyer, internal decoration to the main hall and market hall, together with a significant upgrade and replacement to the heating, lighting and ventilation systems.
Work is due to be carried out in a number of phases, with the first phase due to start in autumn 2012. Whitchurch Town Council has already allocated funding to the project, in what is a partnership approach to revitalise the building.
Mike Owen, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for economic growth and prosperity, said:
“The aim of the Market Towns Revitalisation Programme is to facilitate the long term sustainability of Shropshire’s market towns. The proposed phase 1 project works would bring life back to a key town centre community asset and support the regeneration of Whitchurch town centre.”
Gerald Dakin, Shropshire Councillor for Whitchurch South, said:-
“Following consultations throughout the community over the last few years, many local people have said that they would like to see the Civic Centre enhanced. Shropshire Councillors in Whitchurch have already agreed that the town’s Market Town Revitalisation Programme money should be used to part-fund this project, and I hope Cabinet will agree to award this funding.”
Whitchurch Mayor, Councillor Peggy Mullock, said:
“Refurbishment of the Civic Centre, to establish a quality, multi-use community facility fit for the 21st century, was highlighted as an action in Whitchurch Town Plan. This is a partnership project, Whitchurch Town Council and Shropshire Council working together, listening to what the community wants and taking steps together to make this project happen.”
The Civic Centre is owned by Shropshire Council. The town library is provided within a small part of the building, with the rest of the building leased to Whitchurch Town Council who manage the weekly market and a range of sporting and community functions, as well as providing civic functions.
Cabinet will also be asked to agree that the council’s Area Director (North) be appointed as Project Executive with delegated responsibility for the successful implementation of the project following consultation with, where necessary, the Cabinet member for economic growth and prosperity.