Anstice refurbishment work set for Christmas finish
Refurbishment work at a 19th-century Telford landmark is due to be finished by Christmas, with official reopening events planned for February.
The Anstice Memorial Hall, in Madeley, opened in 1870 and housed a working men’s club where membership peaked at 3,000 in the 1970s.
But the Park Avenue site fell derelict and the club went into liquidation five years ago, prompting Madeley Town Council to buy it and work with the Anstice Community Trust to restore and modernise it.
Town council clerk Phil Griffiths told members the project is going “broadly to budget”, but said he thought the mid-December end date was “tight”, and any unexpected delays could push it and the planned events back.
A library, cafe, lift and disabled facilities will be installed at Anstice Hall and the upstairs ballroom will be redecorated.
A £1.2million contract was awarded to Oswestry-based Pave Aways Ltd in the spring and the refurbishment Steering Group have chosen Ironbridge Interiors to install the bar.
Mr Griffiths told Madeley Town Council: “Now we’re getting to the point in the Anstice project where we’ve got an end date, probably mid-December.”
He said there were plans for reopening events at the hall on the weekend of February 14, 15 and 16, 2020.
“That’s what we’re looking at, although there may be unexpected delays,” he said.
“We are currently £30,000 under-spent, but there are variations in the pipeline.
“We’re going to go broadly to budget, hopefully within it.”
He said ongoing adjustments might “eat into” the underspend, but they were still expect to finish in December.
He said the steering group – which includes of members of the charitable Anstice Community Trust and the town council – were still planning to hold a Peaky Blinders-themed event at the hall on December 28.
Mr Griffiths said: “That is tight. That’s what they are aiming for and we will do all we can to support that.
“It’s ambitious, I think, and, if we have any more delays in that, I think it will slip.”