Penrith Town Hall

Council to sign off Penrith Town Hall extension

Eden Council is due to give the go-ahead to a £2.2m extension of Penrith Town Hall and redevelopment of its Mansion House site, more than 18 months after initial plans were put on hold.

The council currently operates from two sites: the Town Hall on the A6 in Penrith, and Mansion House on Friargate, but is aiming to move all its services to one building.

The Mansion House building has no additional room for staff, with any additional staff now working remotely, while other staff have to book out meeting rooms to use as work stations owing to a lack of space within the building.

The council said the current set up at Mansion House was “not efficient or productive” and said the site was “sub-standard as a public building”.

The proposals, which will require £2.2m of borrowing from the public loans board to fund the works, will be discussed at a cabinet meeting this week,.

Eden Council is planning to tender works to extend and refurbish Penrith Town Hall on Corney Square to cope with additional capacity demands and health & safety issues. Works will include a three-floor extension, including a new council chamber and offices on the upper floors. The existing council chamber in the Town Hall will be converted into office space.

It will now look to appoint a design and build development partner to secure planning permission and undertake works on the project.

It is intended all staff will operate from the Town Hall once the extension completes, and the Mansion House site will be redeveloped.

The council will look to gain planning consent to convert part of the building to residential use, while the remainder will be used as offices to be let to local SME businesses.

In total, both developments will cost a total of £2.2m, of which nearly £1.8m will be construction costs. The council expects to save around £135,000 in running costs if services relocate to a single building.

The council currently has an offer of £750,000 on the Mansion House site.

Proposals to relocate council functions were first discussed in 2011, and planning permission for a three-storey extension to the Town Hall was granted in November 2014. Tender documents were produced in early 2016 but the project was put on hold in July the same year.

In the past three years, the council has assembled land around the Town Hall to allow it to provide additional car parking space for the extension.

The proposals are due to be discussed on 11 January.

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