Leaders at Stoke-on-Trent City Council have agreed to invest up to £6.7 million in heritage and community buildings to ensure the way residents access services across the city continues to improve.
Under the plans drawn up by the city council, major restoration work will be carried out to the historic assets of Tunstall and Longton Town Halls. And local centres in Abbey Hulton, Blurton, Bentilee, Burslem, Chell Heath, Fenton, Meir, Norton and Stoke will also benefit from refurbishment and improved facilities.
The majority of the funding will be used on the Grade II-listed town halls to ensure the council is making the most of the assets at its disposal. At Tunstall Town Hall, the town’s library will be relocated from the nearby Victoria Institute, while the children’s centre will be moved in from further down High Street.
Longton Town Hall will be refurbished as part of the recently announced Stoke-on-Trent Heritage Action Zone – a five-year scheme that aims to revive Longton and its historic buildings – with the town’s local centre relocated inside once the work is complete. The public toilets at both buildings will also be refurbished.
Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, said: “This is about the council investing in and supporting all six towns of Stoke-on-Trent, something we are committed to doing and are passionate about.
“We understand how important our historic buildings are. The town halls in Tunstall and Longton are fantastic assets and provide a constant reminder of how rich in heritage our city is. The aim of the work is to invest not only in their heritage but to make them modern, fit-for-purpose buildings which the community can access face-to-face services from.
“Relocating staff into these historic town halls will have a positive impact on the economies in Longton and Tunstall, as well as supporting the local markets in both towns, which will hugely benefit. The current library building in Tunstall is incredibly important and we don’t want to see it left empty. We are looking at converting it to residential use in the future, to encourage more people to live closer to the town centre which will support the local economy.”
Local centres are run by the city council and allow residents to pay bills or get help and advice on a range of services, such as logging housing repairs or enquiring about waste collection services. Cllr Randy Conteh, cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, said: “The investment will improve services for our residents. It shows how we are responding to customers’ changing habits to ensure residents can access the right services in the right place. These centres provide a hub for residents for numerous activities and enquiries; they are really valued by our communities.”
The planned investment programme was rubber-stamped by the council’s cabinet yesterday (May 22).
For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232987.