‘£100,000 extra’ for Silsden Town Hall revamp bill

9:10am Friday 3rd May 2013

By David Knights

An extra £100,000 has been added to the cost of refurbishing Silsden Town Hall, Silsden town councillors have this week claimed.

Town mayor Coun Chris Atkinson fears the bill for bringing the rundown building up to scratch could now top £400,000.

The bulk of the extra costs are believed to cover repair or replacement of the roof of the historic Kirkgate building.

Coun Atkinson said: “We’re all hearing little snippets here and there.

“I think it’s a backlog of maintenance. The hall needs a new roof.”

District councillor Andrew Mallinson, who is spearheading the refurbishment project, admitted there were extra costs.

But he said these were not part of the main project – which he insisted would cost no more than the original £300,000 estimate – and were instead bills for maintenance.

Coun Mallinson added funding for the extras would come from Bradford Council’s facilities management budget, which pays for ongoing maintenance of council buildings.

He said: “It’s money for work that would have been carried out anyway.

“We’ve looked at going ahead with it at the same time as contractors are in for the refurbishment. It’s good business practice.”

But Coun Mallinson said he had not heard mention of £400,000 as a potential figure for the whole project.

Bradford Council this week confirmed the extra costs were part of ongoing maintenance, including roof repairs, but did not give an exact figure.

The local authority plans to raise the £300,000 core costs by selling the library building in nearby Wesley Place and moving the facility into the town hall.

Silsden town councillors have expressed concern about several aspects of the refurbishment project, including disabled access, effects on Silsden’s conservation area, a planned fire escape and potential loss of space for existing user groups, including the All Stars majorettes.

They recently submitted a bid to buy three Bradford-Council owned buildings in Silsden, including the library, for £1 each to take over their running themselves.

Councillors Atkinson and Adrian Naylor this week outlined their concerns to Bradford Council officers.

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