Calderdale Council: Call for Halifax Town Hall to host weddings and libraries to add cafes to bring in cash
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But a Calderdale Council cabinet member – while agreeing it was a beautiful building – said there were issues which might outweigh benefits.
Coun Amanda Parsons-Hulse (Lib Dem, Warley) said the council should consider it and suggested it could bring in revenue.
“As part of our 2023-24 budget proposals, you stated work would start promptly on building rationalisation – what buildings we have and what we are going to do with them.
“So will you update members of the reasons why you still refuse to use this beautiful, historic building – the town hall – for wedding ceremonies, which could be a very lucrative source of income for the council?” she asked at a recent council meeting.
Coun Parsons-Hulse also asked if libraries could host cafes to generate income.
“Why is it that after all the discussions we have participated in for years, suggestions such as these are still not being implemented?” she said.
Cabinet member for Resources, Coun Silvia Dacre (Lab, Todmorden) said hiring out the town hall was not straightforward.
“Consideration has been given to opportunities in relation to Halifax Town Hall – we all know, we all agree, that it is a beautiful and stunning building and of historical interest.
“But the practicalities of making it available for private hire while it continues to be utilised as office and civic space mean that opportunities for exclusive use are limited,” she said.
Coun Dacre said the council had to focus resources on its primary role of providing public services rather than event management, although suitable buildings were available to hire.
“Calderdale has a large range of approved venues for civic ceremonies, including our own Spring Hall and Todmorden Town Hall,” she said.
Space within libraries to undertake all the activities they hosted was limited and cafes were not something customers had been requesting, although some free refreshments were provided as part of the council’s “warm welcome” scheme, said Coun Dacre.
The council had already found annual £4million worth of savings from its buildings portfolio so savings were becoming more difficult to find, she added.