PLANS to transform Leamington Town Hall into a creative hub are going before councillors next week.
The £1.74million project will restore and convert the historic landmark on Leamington Parade to integrate it into the town’s nearby creative quarter.
Members of Warwick District Council’s planning committee are recommended to give the go-ahead to the plans, which will see new steps and ramps added to the building’s main entrance, adaptation of internal areas, corridor spaces, main staircase and reception, as well as the demolition and reconstruction of an existing two-storey structure at the rear of the building, when they meet on Tuesday (June 20).
The grade II listed town hall, which was built in 1884, features an assembly hall, council chamber and several hireable rooms for small events and currently serves as WDC’s headquarters.
The council said the aim of the project is for the town hall to become an “attractive proposition to the creative sector and, more broadly, the people who live, work and visit the area”.
The objective is for the building to become part of Leamington’s nearby cultural quarter and become a more ‘multi-functional’ space.
The council has been the main occupier since 2002 and it is not yet known if they will move to different premises but certain of the town’s civic duties will still be performed there.
Designed by John Cundall, the sandstone and red brick building combines aspects of both the Tudor and French baroque styles and is also surrounded by other listed buildings within the Leamington Conservation Area.
It was built to replace an earlier smaller town hall created 50 years earlier. Key aims of the upgrade include delivering a new goods lift, improved toilets, bicycle repair shop, exhibition space and meeting rooms.
The planning application and listed building consent has been received the approval of Leamington Town Council, WDC Conservation and the Conservation Advisory Forum.
The original plans were amended so they no longer include a proposal for a new entrance door in Livery Street amid conservation concerns, The remainder of the proposed works, which are mostly internal but also involve the demolition and rebuilding of a rear two storey extension that will accommodate the toilets and lift, have been confirmed by the principal conservation officer as works to which there is no objection on heritage grounds.
As a result, planning officers are recommending the committee grant the application.