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Talks Underway about Future Use of Guildhall

An historic landmark based in Newcastle town centre is set to be given a new lease of life.

The Council is continuing to work with various organisations to explore options for the future use of the Guildhall.

Newcastle Business Improvement District, Support Staffordshire, The Friends of the Guildhall, The Philip Astley Project, Business Enterprise Support and Keele University Students’ Union are all interested in providing their services from the iconic, Grade II listed building now that the Council’s customer services function has relocated to Castle House.

Officers and Council Leader Simon Tagg have met with the organisations several times since December last year to discuss the proposals in more detail. While the ongoing talks are still at an early stage, possible funding opportunities are being identified and plans are also underway to facilitate interim use of the facility.

The Guildhall, which dates back to 1713, had fallen into disrepair at one stage. The Council took back the lease to prevent further decline and opened it as a customer service centre in December 2008 following an extensive refurbishment programme.

Council Leader Simon Tagg said: “The Guildhall is a stunning and much-loved building in the heart of Newcastle with so much history behind it. It has served the Council and residents very well for almost a decade and it is our aim that it should continue to do so in the future.

“The Guildhall is owned by the Council and is staying that way – this is about finding new and practical uses for it as a public building. Nothing has been formally agreed yet, and it may take time, but everyone is feeling positive which is very encouraging. The organisations agree that they have compatible requirements and can work together in the building.

“In the short-term the Council is still looking to use the building and it will not be mothballed or boarded up in any way. I will not let that happen just as I led on its refurbishment and relaunch as a customer service centre 10 years ago during my previous spell as Council Leader. This significant building has played many roles in the town centre over the years – now it’s time for a new chapter.”

An online consultation to gather wider views from residents about how the Guildhall is used is being launched shortly.

Last updated 3 August 2018