Resort Town Hall will be for community
FELIXSTOWE'S Town Hall will be put to full community use when it is sold.Town councillors - set to buy the Victorian seafront building from Suffolk Coastal for more than £100,000 - said today the first priority will be to make the building accessible for disabled people.
FELIXSTOWE'S Town Hall will be put to full community use when it is sold.
Town councillors - set to buy the Victorian seafront building from Suffolk Coastal for more than £100,000 - said today the first priority will be to make the building accessible for disabled people.
Mike Stokell, chairman of the town members committee, which has been managing the purchase of the building, said negotiations had been long and complex but everyone was delighted agreement had been reached.
He said: “We are optimistic that the negotiations will now be successfully concluded.
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“It is our objective to save the building for the people of Felixstowe and to put it to good use for our community.
“The town council hopes to undertake financing arrangements that will minimise the impact on local council tax payers.
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“The final cost of the project will depend on the type of community uses that will be included in the building.
“We are currently discussing potential uses for the building and we would welcome suggestions and input from the Felixstowe community.”
Suffolk Coastal has agreed to sell the town hall in Undercliff Road West as part of a review of all its assets to see how they could be better used by community organisations.
Cabinet member Robert Whiting said the council had a duty to use its resources efficiently but stressed it was not a case of “selling off the family silver.”
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FACTFILE: Felixstowe Town Hall
The Town Hall has been the centre of local government in Felixstowe since 1892 when it was built for the Felixstowe and Walton Joint Board, whose coast of arms hangs over the entrance.
In 1896 it became the HQ of the Felixstowe Urban District Council.
It has been the scene of many historic events in the town - including the trial of the suffragettes who torched the Bath Hotel, and the reception for the glorious Schneider Trophy air speed team.
It is a well-preserved Victorian Town Hall, retaining many original features, including stone staircases, tiled floors, and virtually unchanged council chamber and clerk's office.
In 1974 it was transferred to Suffolk Coastal and with Felixstowe Town Council as tenants.
For many years it was also home to the town's magistrates' courts, until they closed in the 1990s, but has been under-used since with the town council and registrar of births, marriages and deaths as its only tenants.