Agenda item

Town Hall Hub

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee is due to pre-scrutinise this report at a meeting scheduled to take place on 6th October 2022.  Any recommendations on this subject arising from that meeting will be reported for the Executive Committee’s consideration in a supplementary pack.




The Interim Section 151 Officer presented a report on the subject of the proposed Town Hall Hub.


The Executive Committee was informed that the report detailed proposals to convert Redditch Town Hall into a community hub.  Redditch Borough Council no longer required office space on all of the floors in the Town Hall and could operate on the second and third floors only.  This would include a new Members’ and civic suite on the second floor of the Town Hall.  As part of the proposals, external organisations would rent space in the community hub, including potentially Worcestershire County Council and representatives of the NHS.  Subject to the outcomes of public consultation and to deliberations by the Cabinet at Worcestershire County Council, there was the potential to relocate the central library in Redditch to the community hub.  Worcestershire County Council had been consulted on the initial specification for the plans. 


The cost of the scheme would be £5.2 million and funding would be via capital receipts and borrowing (depending on the timing of receipts to give maximum value). The scheme would lead to revenue savings of circa £400,000 a year.  In addition, one of the partner organisations would also invest significantly in the building’s infrastructure if this proposal was taken forward.


Following the presentation of the report, Members discussed a number of points in detail:


·             The introduction of community hubs in other parts of the country and the impact that these buildings had had within local communities.

·             The timescales for the Cabinet at Worcestershire County Council to review the proposals.  Members were advised that the County Council’s Cabinet was scheduled to discuss this matter further at a meeting on 27th October 2022.

·             The date by which public consultation would be held in respect of proposals for the library. Officers clarified that further detail on this subject would be provided in the report that was due to be considered by Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet later in the month.

·             The important role of public consultation in respect of any changes to the library, both as an opportunity to hear from the public and to outline plans for the future.

·             The funding required to support the proposals detailed in the report and the extent to which there were any risks associated with accessing this funding.  Officers explained three specific capital receipts had been identified for funding purposes and with this source of funding the aim was to achieve best value.  In addition, all other suitable options would be considered as part of the overall process.

·             The condition of the building in which the library in Redditch town centre was currently located and the long-term maintenance costs that would be required to continue to locate the library in that building.

·             The support services that could be accessed at the library.

·             The fact that a library would continue to be available to access in Redditch town centre should the proposals be approved.


During consideration of this item, Members noted that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had pre-scrutinised the Town Hall Hub report.  At the end of a detailed debate, the Committee had endorsed the recommendations detailed in the report.




1)          subject to the agreement of the Town’s Fund Library Business case, which itself is subject to the required public consultation, the Town Hall be repurposed as a Community Hub;


2)          subject to approval of recommendation 3 below, authority be delegated to the Section 151 Officer and the Head of Legal, Democratic and Property Services to finalise and implement the community hub business case and to procure and appoint contractors to undertake and deliver the works;


The Executive Committee is asked to RECOMMEND that


3)          building works on the Town Hall of up to £5.2m, (or reduced amount in the event that for any reason the Town’s Fund Library Business Case does not proceed to fruition) to be funded from Capital Receipts, for the purpose of remodelling the Town Hall in accordance with the Town’s Fund Library business case, be approved; and


4)          the capital programme is increased by £5.2m to deliver these works.




Supporting documents: