The council has agreed to look at options for different uses including a major redevelopment of Ealing Town Hall which could become home to a hotel, restaurant and flats. The council say this would provide funds for improvements to community facilities, council meeting rooms and marriage rooms. The council say they would continue to own the site.
The council will now seek proposals from developers which would deliver the redevelopment and provide areas in the Town Hall accessible to the public, with “affordably-priced” improved community space. The intention is that the Town Hall would retain its civic functions, including council meetings and marriage rooms and provide office accommodation for councillors.
Large parts of the grade two listed Town Hall are run-down and require repair, including the roof, the heating system and toilets. The council say running costs are high.
The council’s cabinet has also agreed that officers should commission studies on how the council’s offices at Perceval House and its car park could be redeveloped. Options include demolishing the existing building which the council also describe as expensive to run and repair and which they also believe will be too large for the number of staff they expect to employ in the future.
Smaller council offices could be built on part of the Uxbridge Road site; at another location or the council could move to an existing office building to enable the development of new homes.
The option of temporarily moving Ealing Central Library from its current home on the first and second floors of Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre to a more prominent site is being explored with a longer term option to move into a redeveloped Perceval House site. This would significantly reduce the library’s running cost as the council would not need to pay rent.
Leader of Ealing Council, Julian Bell said: “The council is facing significant changes to its services over the next few years as we respond to unprecedented cuts to its budget. It’s therefore common sense to look at how we can make the most of our buildings in prime, town centre locations, ensuring they are cost-efficient, offer the best service and value to our residents and play a key part in supporting Ealing’s regeneration.
“The Town Hall is a beautiful building but is expensive to maintain; in dire need of refurbishment and we’re not making the most of such a prime location. Including a commercial element such as a hotel and possibly housing could be the ideal solution. Equally, as the council’s needs for office space changes and the expense of running an ageing Perceval House increases we cannot ignore the site’s potential. This exercise is about looking at ideas from experts in the market on how we get the best for Ealing.”
Cllr Yvonne Johnson, cabinet member for finance, performance and welfare said: “We are at the start of the process to see how we can make the most of this landmark building. Although the town hall is much loved, it is in dire need of modernisation and improvement. Local groups will continue to be able to use the enhanced community facilities and the best elements of the building and its civic functions will be conserved.”