A council has asked for people’s views on plans to convert a town hall into a hub for community services.
Uppingham Town Council has secured a grant from the Home and Community Agency to make the building in High Street East more functional in the coming years. The possibility of expanding the use of the town hall was expressed in the recently-completed Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan.
One suggestion is to incorporate the library, currently in Queen Street, provide community rooms and council offices and retain the popular dance floor.
Mayor Dave Ainslie said: “It is great to see progress being made in delivering some of the ideas contained in the Neighbourhood Plan.
“At this time we are still exploring what is feasible with the town hall site. While we intend to seek formal planning permission for the preferred design the decision on whether to progress to the next stage of raising the finance and undertaking the actual building works will now be considered by the council after the election in May”.
The council has chosen an architect, who has produced three designs for consideration. A common theme of all three designs is to retain the existing facade of the existing building with the bulk of any “new build” being behind.
The intention is to submit the preferred design to Rutland County Council early in 2015.
The council is keen to involve the people of Uppingham in the process and so has arranged for the three designs to be displayed in the library and the Falcon Hotel from Wednesday until Tuesday, January 6.
According the Uppingham Heritage Trail website, www.uppinghamheritagetrail.org.uk, the town hall building was originally a church hall. It was built in 1932 at a cost of just under £3,000, which was met thanks to a donation from William Southwell.
The building was used by the Government during the Second World War, at which time it started to host dances at weekends for town residents and servicemen. In 1974 the building was purchased by the parish council, now Uppingham Town Council.