Further details have been released of the proposed £330m project to safeguard and improve Manchester Town Hall and Albert Square, following a report in July which stressed the need for urgent repairs.
A progress report on the work proposed for the grade one-listed building will be considered by the council’s executive on Wednesday 16 November. It provides additional detail on activity so far and the next steps required.
The target date for the completion of any refurbishment, with the building fully re-occupied and functional, is 2023.
A statement from the council said: “The Town Hall will be 140 years’ old next year. While it has been maintained and remains structurally sound, it is now seriously showing its age with many elements reaching the end of their natural lifespans. Equally, it was designed in the 1860s and needs work to bring it up to modern access and safety standards while preserving its heritage.”
The report provides further detail on the preferred refurbishment option and the work which has been carried out to test the costs, scale and phasing.
Work so far has estimated the overall cost of the project, including a sizeable contingency element, at up to £330m.
The council is also investigating the best uses for excess space within the Town Hall, including commercial offices or a boutique hotel, while not “compromising its role as the city’s civic focal point and council headquarters”.
More detailed market testing is required to fully test the viability of these options and how they can be integrated into the wider scheme. Consultants will be engaged to assess commercial opportunities, and a hotel operator engaged to assess the viability of incorporating a small boutique hotel.
A further report will come to executive in March 2017 setting out the potential commercial opportunities. At this point a final decision will be taken on the project.
To view the report in full visit http://www.manchester.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/2889/resources_and_governance_scrutiny_committee