Transformation of Cheltenham Town Hall moves step forward

Published on 27th February 2017

View of Imperial Gardens in the sun, with the town hall in the background

The redevelopment of Cheltenham’s iconic town hall is closer to being realised with the release of funding for a detailed feasibility study for the venue.

Cheltenham Borough Council has identified £2.4 million of capital money towards the project. The first stages will enable a detailed option for the hall’s redevelopment to be worked up. This plan will then be used to help secure further funding towards the total cost of the project.

Whilst the town hall is owned by the council, it is managed by the Cheltenham Trust, an independent charity established in 2014 to develop Cheltenham’s culture and sports economy and offer. Working in partnership, the two organisations share a joint vision and commitment to ensure the town hall is developed to its full potential, preserving its heritage whilst opening it up to new audiences and future generations.

Cllr Flo Clucas, cabinet member for healthy lifestyles at Cheltenham Borough Council, says: “Cheltenham Town Hall, our town hall, belongs to the people of Cheltenham. We want it to be a place for everyone and for it to be as open, welcoming, creative and as enjoyable as it can be. Steeped in heritage, the town hall provides a stunning backdrop for entertaining audiences with its variety of year-round performances and provides invaluable space for private functions and corporate events. But there is so much more potential to be unlocked to move it into the future and offer even more for audiences far and wide.

“The next stage of the plans need to develop how the venue can further enrich the lives of people who live, visit and work here through its wide-ranging content programme, commercial use, activities and events, and engagement with local communities.”

Julie Finch, chief executive of the Cheltenham Trust, said: “Cheltenham already punches above its weight regionally and nationally with its cultural offering. Our vision for the town hall is to create a vibrant centre of cultural activity that draws in people from all backgrounds, including those who don’t currently engage in cultural activities. This is a real opportunity to develop a distinctive, destination venue and to attract significant funding from a wide range of organisations to inject new life into a reimagined venue. 

“We want the hall to become a hub that brings people together, that offers vital new experiences and harnesses talent through a diverse range of cultural and social activities, it will be seen nationally as an exemplar.”

Last year, redevelopment of the town hall was announced top of the town’s wish list, following a public consultation exercise led by the council and trust, this objective is now being explored fully.

The council will be putting the tender up today on gov.uk/contracts-finder.


For media enquiries, contact: Jemima Lawson, communications officer, telephone 01242 775050, email communications@cheltenham.gov.uk

Notes:

About the Cheltenham Trust:

The Cheltenham Trust is an independent registered charity focused on developing Cheltenham’s culture and sport offer through community engagement, sustainable investment and social enterprise. Established in 2014, the Trust engages audiences through the arts, heritage, performance, tourism, sport, and play and wellbeing opportunities. The Trust’s historic and contemporary facilities across the town include: The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum, Cheltenham Town Hall, Pittville Pump Room, Leisure at Cheltenham and the Prince of Wales Stadium. Our teams provide outreach services across sport, play and arts development offering learning opportunities for all.  It also runs the town’s tourist information services to enhance access for visitors.