Fresh burst of life for Radstock hall?

A formal decision agreeing the refurbishment and occupation of Victoria Hall, Radstock will be considered by Bath & North East Somerset Council over the next week.

imagesCabinet Members are set to approve significant investment to refurbish the Hall for use by the community and agree that Sue Hill Dance Limited lease the building on commercial terms with market rent being returned to the local taxpayer.

Councillor Paul Crossley (Lib-Dem, Southdown), Leader of Council, said, “This proposal will inject a fresh burst of life into this highly valued facility in the heart of Radstock. Crucially, the investment and lease will result in a range of community uses for building whilst also putting Radstock on the map as a place for dance and arts excellence.

“Bath & North East Somerset Council has looked very carefully at the options for the building, including the transfer of the library. The compelling proposal put forward to us by the Sue Hill Dance Limited was the most sustainable and potentially successful over the long-term with a significant emphasis on community use. As an existing main user of the building, they already have a link with Victoria Hall and the wider community.

“The Council’s investment is to bring the building up to a standard suitable, for example new electrics, toilet facilities and a boiler. This is needed regardless of what use the building would be used for.”

Full details of the proposed decision are available on the Council’s website.

The uses for the hall include a gallery which would available to local artists for exhibits on a monthly basis. Three studio spaces will be useable as a function space and the large hall upstairs would be made available as a community performance space for local and visiting groups for drama, dance and music or for events like film screenings, shows and dances. A coffee bar will become a new hub for the community.

As with any premises it owns, the Council does not require a tender process or need to market the premises before agreeing a lease with a tenant.

Sue Hill said, “The community is on the cusp of something very exciting as we aim to develop a facility which is much more than a Dance School. In addition to developing the building to become an arts centre and a place for people to enjoy their time, we are committing our own capital funding to fit out the building. We want a community building in which people can hold their meetings, exhibitions, and events. Somewhere that people can feel proud.”

Work is expected to start in the Summer and be complete towards the end of the year, although part of the building will be open before that time for the Dance School to operate.