Town hall site to be part of strategy

PUBLISHED: 12:58 04 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:57 12 May 2010

THE development of the Royston Town Hall site could play a key role in a new strategy. Members of North Herts District Council s Royston area committee are supporting a strategy which will promote the development and enhancement of Royston town centre o

THE development of the Royston Town Hall site could play a key role in a new strategy.

Members of North Herts District Council's Royston area committee are supporting a strategy which will promote the "development and enhancement" of Royston town centre over the next decade.

The key parts of the strategy include:

- to benefit the future economic viability and vitality of the town centre.

- to emphasise the historic character and local identity as a market town.

- to meet the needs of its businesses and community.

A key group working in partnership with Royston Town Council, the Royston Town Centre Forum and Herts County Council as well as voluntary organisations will be set up.

Cllr F John Smith, the leader of the district council, described the strategy as "exciting" and a "comprehensive exercise".

He added: "It's a pity it will be taking a year, but by doing it properly it is going to be worthwhile."

Embedded in a report to the area committee is a paragraph looking at the town hall site.

It says that this is an important part of the strategy and discussions will have to "consider opportunities" for the site.

For almost 20 years there have been discussions about the development of the site which have included modernising the town hall and building a civic centre-like building.

This would include a multi-purpose hall that could be used as a cinema as well as a theatre.

There is a possibility, too, that a new museum building could be part of the development along with an exhibition gallery.

Cllr Tony Hunter said that discussions on the town hall site would be "meaningful".

Some £25,000 has been earmarked to produce the strategy although it is estimated that between £30,000 to £50,000 will be needed for consultation.

The report said: "The strategy will be subject to wide community involvement and consultation."

The strategy will take about a year to put in place due to legal issues, said project manager Louise Symes.

- The district council is to consider increasing its contribution to the Royston Town Centre Forum from £7,500 to £13,750.

The forum also receives £10,000 from the town council.

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