Agenda item

Future of Bury Town Hall and other administrative buildings occupied by the Council - Part A

Report of the Cabinet Member for Strategic Growth and Skills is attached.


Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Growth and Skills, presented the report which presented the findings of a cross party Working Group established to look at the future of Bury Town Hall and presented a preferred option for consultation; to undertake a phased refurbishment of the Town Hall. Members discussed the report, noting their hope that the public took advantage of the consultation as the Town Hall was a public building at its heart.




1.    Approved the preferred option of a phased refurbishment of the Town Hall as the basis for a consultation with the public, staff and trade unions;

2.    Requested that the Executive Director (Place) submit a further report to Cabinet in April 2023 on the outcome of the consultation process to coincide with a report recommending detailed terms for the transfer of the Council’s lease obligation for 3 Knowsley Place to Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust;

3.    Noted the intention to submit a detailed investment case for the refurbishment of the Town Hall to Cabinet by summer 2023;

4.    Noted that, subject to satisfactory progress on the proposals to refurbish the Town Hall and the transfer the Council’s lease obligations for 3 Knowsley Place, options for the disposal of the Q Park roof site and Humphrey House will then be presented to Cabinet;

5.    Noted the intention in the longer term to withdraw from the lease for 6 Knowsley Place subject to sufficient refurbished accommodation being made available at the Town Hall; and

6.    Noted the findings of the Member Working Group on the future of the Town Hall as set out in the report in Part B of this agenda.


Reasons for the decision:

·         The recommendations to commission a phased refurbishment of the Town Hall and to withdraw from leased premises at 3 and 6 Knowsley Place are the most cost-effective way of continuing to provide accommodation for the Borough’s civic and democratic functions and suitable space for the Council’s administrative staff.

·         The recommendations also provide the most effective means of reducing the carbon footprint of the Council’s estate compared to other options for the future of the Town Hall. The Council’s corporate buildings account for 41% of its carbon emissions.

·         The recommendations will support the implementation of the Bury Town Centre Masterplan, approved by Cabinet in March 2022 by retaining and refurbishing a key heritage asset and promoting high quality public realm.

·         The recommendations will create a public service hub with Council, NHS and Six Town Housing staff being consolidated at the Town Hall and Knowsley Place.

·         This will improve efficiency and joint working. Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust will transfer staff to Knowsley Pace from Humphrey House and from sites outside of Bury town centre. This increase in public service staff based in a public service hub will support retail businesses in the town centre, which is a key objective of the Masterplan.


Alternative options considered and rejected

·         To undertake an interim upgrade of the Town Hall and maintain the commercial leases on 3 and 6 Knowsley Place.

·         Construct a new Town Hall on the Q Park site or on the site of the existing Town Hall.

·         Dispose of the Town Hall, maintain the commercial leases on 3 and 6 Knowsley Place and identify new space for civic functions elsewhere.

Supporting documents: