Hall move to ‘save council £5.8 million’

Scarborough Town Hall
Scarborough Town Hall

CONTROVERSIAL plans to revolutionise Scarborough’s historic Town Hall could save up to £5.8 million on repair bills, it has been claimed.

The financial revelation comes as Scarborough Council bosses recommend proposals for a £3 million “joint venture” to move into the former Skipton Building Society headquarters, in Eastfield.

The deal, in conjunction with the Homes and Community Agency, would see the council work to develop the Futurist and Town Hall sites in exchange for an equity share.

The update, which will be pored over by the Cabinet next week, comes as residents prepare for a final consultation meeting on the plans in the Royal Hotel, from 7pm tonight.

A joint report from Jim Dillon, Scarborough Council’s chief executive and Nick Edwards, the authority’s head of finance and asset management, said the Town Hall site, in St Nicholas Street, was now not fit for purpose.

The report proclaimed the move would “deliver a cultural change in the council’s service provision” and “deliver its vision for achieving renaissance.”

It said: “The minimum investment in the next two years to maintain a minimum standard of accommodation is approximately £2.6 million with a further £1.7 million of capital costs required for work such as IT upgrades and electronic filing.

“Over a 25-year term, maintenance costs for the buildings are likely to be in the region of £5.8 million.

“Such an investment will only maintain the building and not address some of the restrictive internal layouts and remove the opportunity to deliver benefits in modern working practices.

“The buildings have an historic legacy in terms of geography, design and versatility which limit the levels of benefits which can be achieved by the council.”

Tonight’s meeting follows a previous heated affair, also in the Royal Hotel, when Mr Dillon told the crowds the move would benefit the council financially.

He added: “The one thing we cannot do is to stay the way we are. We can’t afford it.”