15/03/2024 - Permalink

Future of Whitchurch Civic Centre to be considered by new working group

Related topics: Assets and estates / Community / Partner organisations
Whitchurch civic centre

Whitchurch Civic Centre

A working group has begun meeting to consider options for the future of Whitchurch Civic Centre, after specialist engineers found that RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) exists across the majority of the Civic Centre complex, and that it has major structural issues.

Made up of local Shropshire Council and Whitchurch Town Council councillors and officers, the group is set to meet at least one a month to consider future options for the Centre, which has been closed since last year.

Six future options for the site have been drawn up and the group will consider each of these, before a business case is drawn up for each, to include appropriate surveys, appraisals, assessments and designs.

The options that will be considered are:

  • Do nothing and close the building permanently.
  • RAAC to remain in place and mitigated through internal structural framework, repairs to spalled concrete and full replacement of roof membranes.
  • Replacement of structural roof and associated essential items.
  • Demolition and clearing of site.
  • Demolition and rebuild as existing facilities provision.
  • Demolition and redevelopment of the site.

The business cases – and the working group’s recommendations – will go out to public consultation before being considered by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet.

Shropshire Council will also work with local MP Helen Morgan to seek central Government for funding towards the cost of these options.

Other than the sports/market hall, the Civic Centre will remain closed for public safety and work is continuing to find alternative provision for the library and community services in the town centre.

Peggy Mullock, Shropshire Councillor for Whitchurch North, said:

“The Civic Centre building remains in a very poor condition due to the presence of RAAC but no decisions have been made about the future of the building and six possible options are on the table.

“We know the importance of the Civic Centre to Whitchurch to local people. As a group we’ll be considering the six options in detail, and carefully examining the business case for each before seeking the views of the local community and making our recommendation to Cabinet.”

Whitchurch Mayor Councillor Andy Hall,  said:

“Whitchurch Town Council will shortly relocate to new premises to provide a home for many local community groups who were displaced by the closure of the Civic Centre, alongside a new base for council operations. We will continue to fully participate in the working group to ensure that the views of Whitchurch residents are fully heard and considered as part of the wider discussion regarding the future of the Civic Centre complex, to meet current and anticipate need, using an evidence-based approach.”

Updates will also be provided after each meeting of the working group.