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Fears for the future of Ripley Town Hall

Plans to sell the town's 1880 Town Hall have caused concern at the Victorian Society, which would like to see the building remain in public use.

Amber Valley Borough Council has put the Town Hall, its adjoining offices and a car park up for sale and the two acre site is being marketed by an estate agent as a ‘major town centre redevelopment opportunity'. The Council hopes the move will save it £2 million over the next two years, but many people in Ripley are strongly opposed to the sale.

'Selling the office block and the car park may be a good way for the Council to make savings but getting rid of the Town Hall amounts to selling off the family silver', said Chris Costelloe, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'The Town Hall was designed as a symbol of civic pride and its significance is tied up with the fact that the people of Ripley owned it and had access to it. Its future is best served by remaining in public hands'.

The Victorian Society would like to see Amber Valley Borough Council retain the Town Hall, or offer it to Ripley Town Council, rather than see it converted into apartments or shops.

The 1880 Town Hall is thought to have been designed by local architect Mr Eyre of Codnor after money was raised from a public subscription. It remains Ripley's main landmark building more than 130 years later.

 

Thursday 30 June, 2011

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