Revamped Anstice building has got off to a busy and successful start
A refurbished Telford community building is busy around the clock and getting rave reviews from visitors, a month after its grand re-opening, town councillors have heard.
The Anstice Memorial Hall, in Madeley, first opened in 1870 but closed in 2014 and fell derelict, prompting the town council to buy it.
Along with the Anstice Community Trust, Madeley Town Council restored and modernised it, adding a library, cafe and disabled facilities, and the £1.2million project culminated with a week of events during half-term last month.
Trustee Sarah Chadwick, who is also town councillor, praised the staff and volunteers and said the Park Avenue building was “doing what we want it to do – we just need to keep that momentum”.
Reporting back to the town council, she said: “It’s open. It’s very busy. I believe the cafe is busy from the minute it opens until it closes, although on occasions it runs out of food, which is a good sign.
“All of the events have been very successful as well.
“I popped in a few times during the day when I had the chance.
“A lot more people are in the library, and there are a lot more people joining up as members.”
Councillor Chadwick said almost all feedback was “very positive about the use of the building”.
Fellow trustee and councillor Paul Watling said congratulated the volunteers for their “vision and ability”.
“They also raised a large amount of money for the restoration as well,” he said.
“I think it should be acknowledged by this council how that partnership is really important.”
Town councillors also agreed to give ACT a £9,400 loan to allow it to take on an additional caretaker and a cafe staff member at the hall.
At a previous meeting, the Finance and General Purposes Committee recommended providing the funds, which a report said would help cover six months’ salary and setting-up costs for the new employees, with repayments expected after a minimum of six months.