Press Release: 28 September 2023
The future of a 16th Century building could be secured by an organisation with the funds to invest in it.
Stroud District Council is considering offering a long lease for the Old Town Hall in the town’s Shambles. The Council is committed to retaining the freehold of the Old Town Hall, which is Grade II* listed and is a valued historic asset for Stroud and the wider area. Continued public access to the building will be proposed as part of any lease terms.
The council is proposing to offer a long lease for the building, in line with the process for an Asset of Community Value, so that community groups and others can also express their interest in the property.
Part of the building dates back to 1596, and while it had been occupied in the past by the District Council, the offices were then let to other organisations and it is now used only by the council to ensure that market traders have storage space and to provide the hall for public hire.
The Covid pandemic impacted significantly on the public meeting room/hall and tenants, with only two of the rooms on the ground floor still let to one business. Some of the market traders occupy stores under the building and the offices on the first floor have been empty for several years.
The remaining business, which leases two of the units, will be vacating the building at the end of September as it has alternative arrangements in place.
The council has considered the options for bringing the building back into full use and the significant investment that is required to bring it up to modern standards, and it has received interest in the whole building in the past and again more recently.
Shambles Market traders, tenants, Stroud District Council members, and Stroud Town Council have been consulted, and views sought from those who currently hire the venue. The impact on the well-established Shambles Market will be an important consideration in any lease.
To address the retrofitting of the building, the Council included the building within its Zero Carbon One Public Estate project. Through this project the council has obtained a Building Performance Evaluation report including whole life carbon assessments, which demonstrates the extent of work required to meet our carbon 2030 commitments. The lease could ensure that the retrofitting of the building is a requirement.
SDC Strategy and Resources Committee will consider a report on October 5 before a decision is made.
Sign up for email alerts here. For regular social media updates from the council, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Stroud District Council is led by a co-operative alliance of the Green, Independent Left, Community Independent and Liberal Democrat Groups.
For media inquiries contact: email@example.com