Massive U-turn over Market Hall plan
A SURPRISING new option has emerged over the town’s Market Hall that would retain the embattled building.
For months, Harborough Council has been hammering home its proposal to rent the Market Hall which it said was vital to fund the overall ‘Golden Triangle’ scheme.
But the move was widely criticised and sparked a protest march through town last month.
Today, the council has issued a statement proposing an alternative scheme that would keep the hall, in Northampton Road.
This is the council’s report in full.
“It is financially viable to redevelop the council’s Adam and Eve Street Headquarters so that space can be leased to retailers and partners, according to an officer report sent to councillors.
The report says redevelopment could be funded by the council selling an interest in the Market Hall and relocating the market to a covered area of Fox Yard.
Alternatively, there may be a financial case to fund the redevelopment by keeping the market where it is but taking a more commercial approach to its management in order to improve returns.
The report advises that a further option, the relocation of the Council Headquarters to an out of town location, is not viable to pursue.
The Transformation Board, a representative sub committee of full council, will consider the report at a meeting on 20 April before making recommendations to full Council.
Councillor Mike Rook, leader of Harborough District Council and Chair of the Transformation Board, said:
“During extensive consultation there has been widespread support for the Council to remain in its central location. Thankfully, this report concludes that we can do so and deliver better value for local people by redeveloping the Adam and Eve Street building. I’m interested to see that we might fund that redevelopment while retaining the market in the Market Hall, which has been widely supported by people in the town. We will assess the relative risks and rewards of this approach alongside others before we make a recommendation to Council.”
The report includes the findings of previously announced work by property consultants Willmott Dixon, the results of a market testing exercise for the Market Hall site, feedback from widespread public consultation into the future of the town centre and a financial appraisal by Council officers.
The proposals are part of the wider Transformation Programme that Harborough District Council voted to progress on 14 December 2011.
The Transformation Programme sets out to save at least £3 million over the next five years by transforming the services offered by the Council and the way it uses property assets. It is designed to revitalise the organisation, engage the community, strengthen the accountability of officers and councillors and ensure a more efficient council for the future.”
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Weather for Market Harborough
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West