Walworth Town Hall: update

19 July 2017

Last year the council reported that as further design work and assessment of the Walworth Town Hall was undertaken, we better understood the costs of the project to refurbish the town hall following the fire and deliver the brief previously agreed by cabinet.

A budget of £20m had been allocated, however our work indicated that project costs would total £36-40m. Due to the constraints on the council’s capital programme we
decided this was not feasible. The council consulted with local residents and put forward three options for the town hall (continue with the project scope and increased cost; dispose of the building; or re-work the designs to deliver within budget and deliver the project brief).

The final option had the most support so the council undertook detailed further work with the community last year to better understand the costs and condition of the building and the potential to deliver the project in phases, with a ‘slimmed down’ project brief, and considered the potential to dispose of part of the buildings to fund these works.

Following this rigorous process the project costs remained high and would require an additional £10m above the £20m already allocated to deliver a pared down version of
the previous brief. Due to the continuing constraints on the council’s capital programme this additional resource is not available and is not best use of public
money.

A revised project mandate has been set out to seek expressions of interest from the market for Arts and Culture D1 uses. Through the public consultation and further detailed work with the community it was very clear that maintaining public access to the site was a key consideration, as was protecting the rich heritage of the buildings.

The temporary Newington Library site at The Artworks is in place until that site closes late next year, and accommodation is being investigated for a new Newington Library within the local area. The Cuming collection has also been displayed to communities across the borough and we are committed to working with local residents to find the collection a new permanent home.

Page last updated: 19 July 2017