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28 April 2010, 06:00
Alternative plans for converting Hitchin Town Hall into a museum and community venue will be unveiled at a public meeting tonight.
One is being put forward by North Herts District Council, while the other has been proposed by a consortium of community groups led by Hitchin Initiative.
Architect Neil Charlton, from heritage specialists Buttress Fuller Alsop Williams, has drawn up detailed plans for both schemes and will go through each one separately, explaining the differences and listening to feedback.
The public will have the chance to ask questions as well as putting forward ideas and suggestions to representatives of both schemes.
The meeting is being hosted by the North Hertfordshire Arts, Museums and Heritage Forum and will be in the ballroom at the Sun Hotel, Sun Street, Hitchin at 7pm for a 7:30pm start.
John Robinson is the Strategic Director of Customer Services at North Herts District Council, he's been telling Heart:
"Hitchin Town Hall was developed in the age when people went regularly went to large scale public events. Over the years that's become less prominent feature of local life. So the council has been exploring for a number of years ways of to reinvigorate the hall and get the necessary investment to bring it up modern day standards.
"The Town Hall has been quite a strain on council taxpayer’s expenditure. So in addition to spending the 3.9 million on refurbishing the Town Hall, we expect that there will significant cost saving in the magnitude of £200,000 - £240,000 a year."
A formal decision on the plans will be made by North Herts District Council towards the end of the summer.