Start date is in sight for £1.2m refurb of Telford landmark
The £1.2 million project to restore a landmark building in Telford to its former glory will begin in the coming weeks.
Building work on the Anstice Memorial Hall in Madeley will start on February 25 and is expected to last for six months.
The project will be carried out by Shropshire building contractors Paveaways, based in Oswestry.
Supporters of the building have been working hard to prepare for the work since the beginning of the year, and have managed to raise tens of thousands of pounds to pay for the work.
Councillor Carrie MacKenzie, Madeley Town Council’s vice chairwoman, said: “These are exciting times and the work on Anstice will build upon the previous improvements carried out over the past few years in Madeley centre.
“We would like to thank all the organisations that are offering funding support, including Telford & Wrekin Council, Veolia and Power to Change."
Madeley Town Council has £618,109 funding secured or covered by reserves for this project, but needed to find a further £586,680.
Financial budgeting means Madeley Town Council is able to take out a public works loan without any need to increase the Town Council precept.
Lyndy Boden, chairwoman of the Anstice Community Trust (ACT), said: “Myself and the trustees are extremely happy and relieved that everything is finally happening. it’s been a tough couple of years of constant fundraising and applying for funding, but it’s now all coming together.
“We will continue to work alongside the town council who have done a fantastic job of securing finances and we are really looking forward to seeing this beautiful building modernised and used to its full capacity by the community.
“It’s going to be great for Madeley and Telford in general with the fantastic ballroom room holding many events and social evenings that everyone will be able to attend via access from the new lift.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported us and funded us. It’s finally happening. Let’s get The Anstice back into the heart of the community.”
Work will include renovating the ballroom on the upper floor, as well as extensive work to the ground floor. Original detail, such as the Maws tiled floor and wooden stairs, will be retained. It will also bring Madeley library back to its original home within the building.
Once the work is completed, the running of the building will be taken over by the ACT, a registered charity run by local people.
Councillor Rae Evans, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for visitor economy, added: “We know how important the successful restoration of this iconic building is to the community in Madeley – the Anstice Memorial Hall is a key part of Madeley’s DNA.
“I am delighted that the Town Council has reached the position where it can appoint a contractor and very much look forward to work beginning on the building later this month.”
Paveaways was chosen to do the work after a competitive tender process. They have worked on over £41 million of refurbishment projects since 2012, including over £4 million for Telford & Wrekin Council, such as improvements to Brookside Community Centre and redevelopment of Hadley Centre.
Telford & Wrekin Council's biT team will design and manage the project.