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Architects interviewed for Frome Town Hall project

PLANSfor Frome’s new and improved town hall are coming closer to fruition as the council gears up to interview potential designers this week.

Frome Town Council hope to purchase the former social services office on Christchurch Street West from Somerset County Council by mid-May. It will then become Frome Town Hall, for which the town council is currently searching for an architect/designer.

Town clerk Paul Wynne said, “We’ve had a great response from architects and designers to our design brief for refurbishing Frome Town Hall.

“We will be interviewing on 23rd April, and appointing soon afterwards. The process of then producing a master-plan will follow and then we’ll ask the community for their views. We hope to be able to start the work in the late summer, with a view to Frome Town Hall being up and running in the new year.

“I am delighted with the interest we’ve had from the community so far and am really excited about establishing Frome Town Hall for everyone.”

The building dates back to the late 19th Century, and is expected to be preserved as much as possible. As well as retaining the building’s integrity, the design brief commands accessibility and sustainability.

The brief says, “The structural survey in particular has identified that the building is in good condition, although there is some damp to the rear of the building and some of the ceilings are in need of stabilising.

“The major design input is likely to be around interior design, making the best use of the space available, with a focus on the reception, café and meeting room spaces and the creation of an effective flow of movement throughout the building.

“We do not expect to alter the exterior of the building and would rather not make significant alterations to the interior; removal and erection of studding walls, for example, notwithstanding.

“The implementation of the design will be phased as funding becomes available. The cost of the first phase should not exceed £345,000 plus professional fees. This phase should include as much of the more disruptive work as possible and is to be completed prior to occupation.

“Frome Town Council expect serious observation of energy efficiency, energy use and wherever possible the re-use and upcycling of furniture and fittings. An inventory of office furniture will be made available to the successful designer.”

For more information about the Town Hall project, visit www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk.

 

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