The buildings represent great opportunities to provide facilities that better meet the needs of existing and future residents of Brackley. Restoration and the introduction of new activities will bring investment into our town and will give residents and visitors more of a reason to choose to come into the town centre and support local businesses.
The Grade II* Listed Town Hall is located at the very heart of Brackley and currently provides space for a range of community activities. However the building is showing signs of aging and is in need of investment. The feasibility work will identify improvements and potential new uses for the building that will help put it back at the centre of life in Brackley.
After 120 years of operation, the Old Fire Station was closed in 2010 when the Fire Service vacated the property, leaving the building empty and unused. Following negotiation with the National Trust who owns the building, the Town Council expects to finalise the purchase of the property in the next month or so. The feasibility work will identify a mix of community and commercial uses for the building that can create more activity at this end of the High Street and provide complimentary facilities for the adjacent park.
The work is being managed by Ingham Pinnock Associates and will progress over the first half of 2013. Local stakeholders will be engaged in the process through a Consultative Group which will be established soon to provide a solid mechanism for groups to inform the work. Further information will be published throughout this period.
Brackley Mayor Chris Cartmell said: We’re delighted to be investigating the future of these two special buildings. Both buildings have an important role to play in Brackley and we hope that our work and engagement with local groups can identify realistic ideas that will support the community and, particularly at this time, businesses in the town centre.
Cllr Rupert Fordham, South Northamptonshire Council Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Regeneration said: We are glad to be helping Brackley to deliver a number of the projects that emerged from the recent Brackley Masterplan. We are committed to supporting our market towns which act as service centres for large parts of rural Northamptonshire and are vital to the future success of the District.
Cllr Bonner Dunham, Chair of the Town Hall Working Party said: The Town Hall and Old Fire Station represent fantastic opportunities for Brackley. The Town Hall in particular has been a vital part of the community throughout its 300 year history whether originally as an open market and court room or more latterly as a popular venue for dances during WWII. The use of the building has changed subtly over the years in response to the needs of the community and we hope that the feasibility work can help to make sure that the building remains relevant and vibrant as Brackley continues to grow and change around it.
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