Mark Whitehead 14 July 2016

Manchester’s historic town hall to be revamped

A £330m plan to upgrade Manchester's historic town hall to make it safe and open up new commercial opportunities has been unveiled.

A survey found the 139-year-old Grade 1 listed building's electrics, plumbing, heating, ventilation and lift installations were in poor condition, as well as its stonework, windows and roof.

It was currently underused and from August there would only be 250 staff based in it as others had been moved out of areas where remedial work was needed.

Manchester City Council said further work was needed to finalise the scale and timing of works and evaluate commercial opportunities and other funding which could reduce the final cost.

A final decision will be taken in the autumn and will include improving Albert Square outside the town hall.

The council's deputy leader Bernard Priest said the building was 'an icon of Manchester, conceived by our Victorian forebears as a proud symbol of the city's confidence and cherished by Mancunians ever since.'

He added: 'But it’s almost 140 years old and it is seriously showing its age. If we don’t act we will have to stop using, and start mothballing, significant parts of this much-loved building sooner rather than later.

'Ultimately, it would have to close altogether. Such a situation would be unthinkable.'

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