The Guildhall development is not to go ahead because, now the tenders have been considered, the project will be too costly.
The press release says …
Following the recent tender exercise in relation to the proposed improvements in relation to the Abbey Hall, the Town Council, at its meeting of 25th January 2017, has reviewed the project.
The Council has, with regret, concluded that the project and the necessary works which are required to bring the Abbey Hall up to acceptable modern standards, is unaffordable in the context of the Council’s overall financial commitments and the fact that many of the services which would have been delivered from the Abbey Hall are provided by other organisations and businesses. Consequently, the capital investment required in the Abbey Hall Project cannot be justified and the Town Council will, over the coming months, be working with other local authorities to explore the possibilities of alternative community uses for the Abbey Hall.
Council Leader Councillor Mike Badcock stated: “We are unable to pursue our project in relation to the Abbey Hall. The Council have worked very hard on finding a solution which is both sustainable and affordable but have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the building has beaten us. Whilst this is to be regretted it is better for this difficult decision to have been taken now before substantial sums were committed to building works. Even based on the lowest tender we were looking at overall project costs of £3,080,000 (note this included a modest budget of £120,000 for works in the historic building). It remains this Council’s intention to move forward and re-open the historic Guildhall when any necessary works have been undertaken in relation to that building.”