Work to begin on council office space at the Royal Pump Rooms - The Leamington Observer

Work to begin on council office space at the Royal Pump Rooms

Leamington Editorial 24th Oct, 2023   0

WORK to transform part of the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington into council offices is due to begin next month.

The contentious plan comes after Warwick District Council decided to move out of its former headquarters Riverside House and transfer its administrative office space to Saltisford, Warwick.

The customer services department meanwhile will take over part of the foyer of the Royal Pump Rooms.

The foyer is currently home to a cafe, library and art gallery as well as a shop, which will have to be relocated to make room for the customer services department for WDC’s homelessness officer and housing services department.

This is despite opposition from residents, which sparked the petition entitled “Hands off our Pump Rooms”.

The work is scheduled to begin on Monday November 20 and is expected to take around three months to complete.

Work will begin on all aspects of the customer service design that do not require planning permission first. Elements that require planning permission will not start unless permission is granted. These include the installation of a glazed door plus a panel and wooden partition to replace the metal roller shutters. The building is expected to remain open throughout.

The shop will close on Sunday November 19 and WDC continues work to find an alternative space for the artists to display and sell their collections.

Interim arrangements are being made to offer a small selection of cards and exhibition related products from the reception area once the shop closes.

Leamington Town Council submitted its objections to the plans as it believes the change of use is contrary to what the building was designed for and will have significant detrimental changes to the aesthetic experience, due to loss of light and vista, as well as inappropriate partitioning.

There have also been 136 letters of objection from the public.

WDC’s transformation spokesperson Coun Jessica Harrison said:

“During the entire process we have recognised that any changes to Royal Pump Rooms require the utmost scrutiny. We are pleased that work is soon to begin for our carefully considered plans to create an accessible and centrally located hub for residents who are unable to access our services online or require face to face support.”

Signage will be in place to guide visitors to the art gallery, cafe and library, with further access information to be provided closer to the time.

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