Town Hall Transformation
At Ordinary Council (19 October 2016) plans were approved that will see the Town Hall completely remodelled to create a service delivery hub and transform the way the Council provides services as well as creating up to 19 residential units.
The Council has reviewed a number of options for the redevelopment of the Town Hall in an effort to improve the utilisation of space within the building, reduce costs and create revenue streams, including considering commercial and residential accommodation within the building.
The existing space within the Town Hall is not being used effectively and the running costs are very high due to ageing infrastructure. The building is no longer fit for a modern office and is in serious need of refurbishment.
Previous ideas for the town hall did not address the significant issues with the current building and proposed remedial works only. The new comprehensive remodelling plan agreed at Ordinary Council will include a new roof, new windows, new boilers, new lifts, the opening up of the office floors and the creation of residential units on the top two floors. All this will reduce the ongoing maintenance and replacement costs that would have been required under previous plans and budget – therefore saving the Council money throughout the life of the Town Hall and helping it achieve additional income by offering space in a modern and fit for purpose building.
The Plans have now been approved by Ordinary Council to remodel the Town Hall, creating a service delivery hub that will see Brentwood Borough Council, Essex Police, Job Centre Plus, Citizens Advice Brentwood, Brentwood Mind, Essex Registration Service, Community Weddings and Brentwood Council for Voluntary Services deliver services from a single location.
The move will not only right-size the Council’s accommodations, provide efficiency savings and greatly increase the energy efficiency of the Town Hall, it will also improve the customer experience with simpler referrals and speedier service resolution.
In addition to the development of the service delivery hub, the way Council services are delivered will be transformed to enable Brentwood Borough Council to operate largely from one floor of the Town Hall. This move will allow the Town Hall to be redeveloped on the upper two floors to provide up to 19 privately rented residential units, thereby creating a sustainable income for the Council.
The building works are expected to begin in late 2017 and complete in early 2019, during which time, the Council will relocate out of the Town Hall. Options are currently being assessed as to where back office services will relocate. However, a town centre presence for front line services will be maintained at all times during the construction phase.
Councillor Louise McKinlay, Leader of the Council, said, “These bold and exciting plans will transform the way that Brentwood residents receive services and will see the Town Hall become a real community hub.
“We’ve considered the options very carefully, ensuring that we meet the Council’s vision to create a place where different organisations and community based groups can come together whilst also making the most of our assets to promote a sustainable development, within a building, which is modern, flexible and cost-effective.
“The plans will deliver for the Council and our hub partners now and, more importantly, it creates a solid legacy for many years to come."
Brentwood Borough Council Town Hall plans to go on display at Pop Up Shop
Brentwood Borough Council is inviting residents to take a look at the plans for the Town Hall transformation which is currently underway. Displays showing the plans including the imminent Police move into the Town Hall lower ground floors, can be reviewed at the Pop Up shop exhibition in the Baytree Centre on Friday March 17 & Saturday March 18.
The Town Hall will see the creation of an “Hub” area for various community groups, together with residential development on the upper floors. To date a number of groups are already using the building including Family Mosaic, CAB and Mind.
Brentwood Borough Council Leader Cllr. Louise McKinlay, said: “The changes make such better use of this substantial property which as residents know will shortly house Brentwood Police together with many community groups. We have a duty to maximise our assets to best advantage residents, and this project reduces the council’s overheads, freeing up funds that can be used for key services.
A council is about much more than the building in which it sits. Times have changed since the Town Hall was constructed with technology and modern working practices reducing the need for an overwhelming property of this size. Exciting and ambitious plans are being realised which mean more efficiencies and initiatives that will enhance services all round for residents and maximise financial returns. The exhibition is a great opportunity for everyone to keep up to date with what is happening in and around Brentwood.”
Staff who have been working on the overriding plan for the Town Hall will be present to help explain the project. The two day Pop Up shop is the first time the Council has run an exhibition in this way and is being held together with the new launch of the Town Centre proposals.
Residents are welcome at any time from 11am-5pm on Friday March 17 and 10am-5pm on Saturday March 18 at Unit 36 in the Baytree Centre.
Community Groups - Potential Interest
In addition to the organisations currently engaged to be part of the Hub, Brentwood Borough Council is inviting requests other local charities, social enterprises, voluntary and community groups and individual organisations who would be interested in taking space at the Town Hall.
As well as those seeking permanent office space, the Council is keen to hear from those wanting regular or ad hoc meeting space or those who are looking to provide a public presence, such as a help desk.
For more information, please complete an enquiry form: Town Hall Community Groups Potential Interest Form