£1.2 million renovation progressing at Telford's Anstice Memorial Hall
Renovation plans at a 19th century landmark in Telford are continuing, with the appointment of a contractor and a building manager both confirmed.
Madeley town councillor Paul Watling, who is also a trustee of the Anstice Memorial Hall, said the building manager post attracted about 20 applicants and the panel eventually chose a highly-experienced local candidate.
Last month Pave Aways Ltd took on the £1.2 million project, which will see a library, cafe, lifts and disabled facilities installed at the Park Avenue venue, as well as a redecoration of the upstairs ballroom.
The council heard asbestos removal work has put back the expected completion date slightly, but overall refurbishment is still expected to finish in the autumn.
Councillor Sarah Chadwick told her colleagues that, following their recommendation at a previous meeting, the Oswestry-based building firm was offered the contract and accepted it.
Madeley Town Council clerk Phil Griffiths said an asbestos inspection had taken place and some removal work was needed.
He said this “pushed back” the overall completion date, but it is still expected to be by the end of September.
Councillor Watling confirmed a building manager had been chosen after five candidates were interviewed.
“I can’t name the person yet, because we’re still going through the process of references,” he said.
“But it is someone from outside the organisation and who works in the area in another organisation locally and who has a lot of experience of managing community buildings.
“It’s a very positive appointment.”
Club membership at the Anstice peaked at 3,000 in the early 1970s, and Councillor David Edwards said it was the “centre of the earth” at the time, but fell into decline in later years, finally going into liquidation five years ago.
“I want to say how delighted I am to see the progress,” he said. “We’re going to bring something back, and it will be even better than before, with the inclusion of lifts,” he said.
The refurbishment project’s total cost is estimated at £1,204,789. Madeley Town Council is paying nearly £127,000 from its own reserves, and grants from The Big Lottery Fund, Telford@50 and Veolia also contribute.
The majority is coming from a £587,000 public works loan, repayable over 27 years, from the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Acting town council chairman Derek White said: “We’ve had a lot of knock backs, for example when we missed out on grants we applied for before. But we’ve not given up.”
By local democracy reporter Alex Moore