The Interim Director of Finance and Resources presented the Town Hall Hub Refurbishment – Final Decision Report for the Committee’s consideration.
Members were advised that the report updated the Executive Committee on progress on the movement of the Town Hall to a Community Hub since the previous report on this subject was considered on 11th October 2022. The report requested approval for spending to increase by £1 million to reflect the final design, with this to be financed through the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) and funded from savings over and above the £400,000 requirement in the Medium Term Financial Plan for the 2025/26 financial year.
The report detailed:
· Progress on the NHS Space,
· Final design RIBA Stage 3 drawings,
· Updated costs based on these RIBA Stage 3 designs, and
· That moving the Town Hall to a “Community Hub” was in line with Government guidance to “collect” public services in one place.
The NHS had been working on site since the start of 2023. They were now running through their final snagging process and services were expected to start operating from the site towards the end of October 2023. The NHS had invested significant sums for the delivery of Mental Health services from the hub. Handover was expected to take place on the 25th September 2023.
For the remainder of the space in the basement, ground and first floors, the Council had been in negotiations with Worcestershire County Council. This had been in parallel with the Library consultation that the County Council had undertaken. Worcestershire County Council had approved the move at their Cabinet meeting held in July 2023.
Significant work had been undertaken with Worcestershire County Council and their subtenants to ensure the design delivered to their existing requirements and at RIBA Stage 3 all partners had signed off that the design met their requirements. There was no reduction of space or facilities for the Library or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), with ongoing revenue costs being no higher than existing 2022/23 revenue costs for running the existing library site. Any requirements over and above the core existing services were chargeable. An example of this was a separate lobby for the DWP which was up for negotiation.
There was significant additional documentation in the appendices, with the greatest change for the Council being the movement of the Civic Suite from the Ground Floor to the Second floor. Planning permission for the changes was agreed on the 27th July 2023. A remaining key change that would be needed would be an improvement to access to the building from the disabled parking bays in the Town Hall car park.
Costs of the detailed design had increased from the estimated £5.2 million, as reported to the Executive Committee in October 2022, to £6.2 million.
Redditch Borough Council and Worcestershire County Council had signed:
· Reciprocating Heads of Terms
· Reciprocating 125 year leases
Work was proceeding on assessing locations and the scale of interim arrangements for Council and Committee ... view the full minutes text for item 36