The Executive Director of Economic Development and Communities submitted a report that sought approval from the Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport to accept the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarding of £3,702,600 and terms of grant, to transform Middlesbrough Town Hall.
Middlesbrough Town Hall Concert Hall was the major performance venue in the Tees Valley with a capacity of up to 1800. It was the largest venue between Leeds and Newcastle. It provided a varied performance programme, attracted a range of visitors to the town centre. It also benefited from being an iconic Grade II* listed building located in the heart of the town centre and its emerging cultural quarter around Centre Square, which included mima, the £12m Holiday Inn development, and the regeneration of the Baker / Bedford Street area.
In December 2014, the Councils Executive approved the submission of a stage 2 bid to the HLF for £3,702,600, with a £4,081,000 match contribution from the Council to restore key heritage spaces within the venue and enabled the Council to fulfil its ambitions for the building to be more commercially driven, enhancing the customer experience, attracting more national performers whilst still ensuring it was a venue for the community.
The report outlined in further detail the two options available:
Option 1 - Do not accept the award of HLF funding and terms of grant.
Option 2 (Preferred Option) - Accept the award of HLF Funding and terms of grant.
the acceptance of £3,702,600 and terms of the grant from the HLF for the transformation of Middlesbrough Town Hall be approved;
the development of the project be progressed and that a further report be presented to Executive in September 2015 with a more detailed delivery programme; and
the Executive Director of Economic Development and Communities be given delegated approval to approve any changes to the terms of grant, subject to discussion with the Executive Director of Corporate and Commercial Services.
The decisions were supported by the following reason:
The acceptance of the HLF grant funding will enable the restoration of the Town Hall for the future benefit of the residents of Middlesbrough and to support the towns cultural offer. The Town Hall has extensive areas which are under-utilised and provides the potential for new complementary activities to bring people in to this magnificent building as a destination in its own right.