Consultation to launch on Bourne Town Hall future
The people of Bourne will be invited to have their say on the future of their Town Hall once the county council launches a public consultation.
The council is a trustee of the building in the Market Place and as such has to take an active role in governing it as an independent charity.
The future of the town hall has been unclear since Bourne Town Council moved to the Corn Exchange in March 2013.
The Bourne Town Hall Trust Management Committee was set up in February, and will today give a report to county councillors in which it will outline plans to launch a public consultation into the future use of the building.
Chairman of the management committee Coun David Brailsford (Con) said: “As part of our responsibilities as a committee, we must report our progress to all members of the county council, who are trustees of the town hall.
“Our legal responsibilities, and the potential options for the town hall are complex due to the nature of the ancient deed and we must act in the interest of the charity for the benefit of the people of Bourne at all times.”
The committee hopes to sign off the consultation document at its next meeting on September 23. Once the consultation is complete the committee will report back to the council with its findings.
Plans to convert the town hall building into a boutique cinema were unveiled by the family firm behind The Regal in Melton Mowbray late last year. Public opinion was largely in favour of the cinema idea, but after a thorough investigation Tony Mundin, who also runs The Ritz in Belper, said the building was too small to make it viable.
The town hall, which was built in 1821, was paid for in part by public contributions. The county council acquired it in 1974 as a trust and is the sole corporate trustee.
This caused the council, which initially thought it owned the building, legal difficulties when it tried to sell it, so the management committee was formed.
Coun Sue Woolley (Con), who represents the Bourne Abbey ward, said: “I’m delighted that the committee hopes to be in a position to consult with the people of Bourne soon. I’d urge all residents to get involved and make their views known when the consultation begins, so they can influence the future of the town hall.”