A MAJOR cosmetic and access refurbishment has been completed at a civic building.
Uttoxeter Town Council has spent around £130,000 on a project to make the Town Hall, in High Street, disabled friendly on both floors, as well as carrying out a complete redecoration of the interior of the historic building.
Built in the 1850s, Uttoxeter Town Hall has a main hall, a council chamber, a number of staff offices, an entrance hall, and a grand staircase.
The work to revamp the venue began in March this year and has seen contractor Bailey Construction Ltd replastering cracking walls, repainting throughout the building, refurbishing toilets, installing a new disabled toilet, sprucing up Victorian features in the main hall, and installing an eight-person lift in the building which is mainly owned by Uttoxeter Town Council.
The two-month project has been funded mainly by a £100,000 council tax precept, as well as money left from the sale of land to the rear of the building.
Town Mayor Martin Blencowe said: “Now that we have a fully accessible Town Hall with improved facilities, we expect to gain more bookings for the use of the building, and therefore know that, over the next few years, the cost of the refurbishment will be recouped.
“We already have one booking for a wedding later on in the year, and two booked for next year.
“We now also have the Indoor Market on Wednesdays back up and running, which is gaining additional traders week by week.” Currently, Uttoxeter Town Hall is also used for tea dances, keep fit classes, singing groups and an indoor farmers’ and gifts market.
Staff at the Town Hall are now keen to hear from any other groups who would like to make use of it.
Tina Jeffery, who is the responsible financial officer at Uttoxeter Town Hall, said: “We are obviously delighted now that we have lovely clean and nicely decorated offices to work in.
“We are also delighted with the Main Hall and Council Chambers refurbishment. We now look forward to making additional bookings for the use of the town hall.”
Mr Blencowe added: “This project has been something I personally have been committed to over the five years of being a part of the council. I believe a market town like this needs a town hall. A town without a town hall is like a clock without a face.”
Although members of the public had a chance to see the completed works at the Town Hall at recent Diamond Jubilee celebrations held in the building, Uttoxeter Town Council is aiming to host an official re-opening day soon which will give people the chance to look around the building as well as to meet the staff team.