North Hertfordshire Museum: 14/15 Brand Street sale finally agreed

PUBLISHED: 17:45 06 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:54 06 November 2018

Hitchin Town Hall and the entrance to the North Hertfordshire Museum at 14/15 Brand Street. Picture: Danny Loo

Hitchin Town Hall and the entrance to the North Hertfordshire Museum at 14/15 Brand Street. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2018

The sale of 14/15 Brand Street – the entrance to the North Hertfordshire Museum – has finally been agreed, with ‘one minor change’ to happen before the the district council purchase goes ahead.

North Hertfordshire District Council has now confirmed that Hitchin Town Hall Ltd agreed to the sale of 14/15 Brand Street – with a slight amendment to the terms of the agreement – at its scheduled extraordinary general meeting on Tuesday last week.

Councillor Tony Hunter, NHDC’s executive member for community engagement has today said: “We are pleased to confirm that at the EGM, Hitchin Town Hall Ltd agreed to the sale of 14/15 Brand Street, with a very minor change to one of the terms of the agreement.

“Formal approval for the agreement now has to go to an extraordinary meeting of cabinet on November 20, after which we will be in a position to get on with the final fit out and get the museum open next year.”

The district council has been deadlocked with Hitchin Town Hall Ltd and its bankers HTH Finance Ltd over the purchase of 14/15 Brand Street for more than two years, and last month we reported that according to a statement from Stephen Pike, chairman of Hitchin Town Hall Ltd, North Herts District Council had backed down on the main point that had been holding up the authority’s £550,000 purchase of the entrance at 14/15 Brand Street.

Charitable trust Hitchin Town Hall Ltd, the district council’s former partner in the Hitchin Town Hall revamp and North Hertfordshire Museum project, has agreed to let museum staff access rooms in 14/15 Brand Street while negotiations took place.

During this time, the Conservative-run council has managed to get the museum open – without access to parts of it that are in 14/15 Brand Street.

But the deal has snagged over the insistence of Hitchin Town Hall Ltd and bankers HTH Finance Ltd that the terms enshrine a five-year rolling hold over the town hall, giving the people of the town opportunity to buy the site if the council ever decides to dispose of it.

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