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Borough Council seeks operator for Bedworth Civic Hall

Published on Tuesday, 1st November 2022

Do you have a viable proposal for the future of Bedworth Civic Hall?

That is the key question in a new public engagement period to be launched by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council this month.

The engagement exercise is to enable parties who might be interested, at no cost to the Borough Council, in operating Bedworth Civic Hall in the future, or in supporting its future operation as an entertainment venue.

The engagement is proposed in a Cabinet report to be considered by councillors on Wednesday, 9 November.

If councillors agree, the period of engagement will begin on Thursday, 10 November and end at 12pm on Monday, 30 January.

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council has made it clear that it is not in a position to contribute any further cash to running the venue, or to capital investment it says is badly needed before it can be opened again.

As a result, the Council wants to hear from parties who believe they have:

  • An interest, at no cost to the Borough Council, in operating the Civic Hall in future, or in supporting its future operation as an entertainment venue
  • A plan for the potential viable operation of the Civic Hall on a sustainable basis to the Borough Council in the immediate future, showing how the immediate capital investment requirements would be met
  • Ideas for continued or alternative use of the building in the current period at no cost to the Borough Council, while plans for the future development of the site are considered
  • Ideas for future use of the site if the Civic Hall was to be replaced

Nuneaton and Borough Council Leader, Cllr Kris Wilson, said:

“We know the Civic Hall is a much-loved building, but we have made it clear we don’t have the money to run it any longer due to the effect this would have on all the other services run by this Borough Council. The decision not to re-open the building under its previous arrangements has been made, and that will not change.

“However, we are interested in speaking to those people who might be willing to work with us to get the best use out of either the Civic Hall in its current guise, the current building for another use, or for this site if the Civic Hall building were to be replaced.

“Whatever the future holds for this building, we are keen to find the best result for the people of Bedworth and surrounding areas.”

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council recently announced that the building will remain closed for the foreseeable future, and that it is no longer in a position to operate the building.

The Council stated that this is due to a combination of factors:

  • Use in past years that has regularly failed to reach building capacity or viable levels;
  • Poor financial returns; and
  • A lack of capital funds for badly-needed refurbishment that is required now

The authority also published an outline Bedworth Town Centre Vision, setting out how the key town centre site could look if new homes and a new, smaller civic hall and library were created in the same area.

The engagement period will allow the Borough Council to explore willingness among local or sector bodies to take on running the Civic Hall in some viable new arrangement, or to explore other realistic opportunities for its future existence.

Information about financial performance, investment requirements and past bookings will be available for inspection as part of the process.

Opportunities will be sought to engage people in a number of ways, and to reach out through community and arts organisations.

Once the engagement exercise is closed, a report setting out a summary of feedback received will be available for consideration by councillors.

The Borough Council will announce the outcome of this engagement exercise, and any next steps, early in 2023.