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Controversy over mezzanine floor in town hall

Posted by Marianne
December 16, 2011 in Community

Planned renovations to Marlborough Town Hall have caused a controversy in the small market town in Wiltshire.

Intended to increase the use of the ornate Victorian building, extensive internal refurbishments have been planned including the installation of  mezzanine flooring  mezzanine flooring, conversion of the basement into a museum and storage facilities for archive material.

In addition to housing the council offices and assembly rooms, Marlborough Town Hall is also used for a wide range of activities, including exhibitions, craft fairs and keep fit classes. It is licensed to conduct marriages and is a popular venue for wedding receptions.

An impressive example of Victorian architecture, the Grade II listed building was opened in 1902 and was recently given an external facelift. Now plans to improve the inside of the building include new technology to improve insulation and reduce fuel costs, new council offices accommodated on an area of mezzanine flooring which is suspended from the court room ceiling, improvements for disabled access and new lifts with easy access to each of the five floors.

Whilst local councillors are agreed in the benefits of the renovations, they are split on how the project should be funded. Estimated at a cost of £1 million, the proposal is to borrow from the Government’s public works and loan board with a repayment period of fifty years. Proposers of the scheme claim that the scheme would not increase local council tax while opponents remain sceptical, expressing concern at such a long term proposal involving such a large sum of money.

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