Town Council Offices

The business plan submitted to funding organisations proposed the following usage for the Town Council Offices. However, the suggestion is only a starting point and further consultation will take place with the local community before any decisions are taken.

The Town Council currently occupies these three buildings, along with the Poetry Festival administration who rent some (highly-subsidised) space. The rest of the building is used for broadly heritage purposes (visits with tour guides to the Painted Room), weddings and meetings (in the Panelled Room) and storage.

The project steering group includes representatives of the Town Council, and separate meetings have also been held with the full Council and some of its committees in order to ensure that all members have had the chance to comment on and discuss the plans for possible re-location of their office accommodation, reception desk and meeting space into the Barrett Browning Institute. The Town Council has also benefitted from independent
advice on the costs of re-locating, the business case for doing so and the financial impact.

On this latter point, it is clear that, given the high level of maintenance and repair costs over the next few years of No 1-3 Church Lane and also the Market House (which they are
currently responsible for), the financial impact on the Town Council of re-locating would be a positive one.

There is also the wider issue of the creation of a 'hub' by locating the Town Council's reception desk alongside the Ledbury welcome/tourist information centre presence in the Barrett Browning Institute (ground floor), bringing together all the main information sources for visitors, residents and people working and studying in the town under one roof. The collocation of Ledbury’s main civic and voluntary/community sector in one building will also give out a compelling message for the whole town.

The building(s) now known as the Town Council offices were originally three separate residential dwellings, and hence sub-dividing them vertically does not present any major structural nor consent issues. It also gives more flexibility and potential for income generation by allowing them to have separate uses. Two sets of options have been explored at this stage:

Option A:

No. 1 Church Lane. Heritage, meeting and wedding uses – visits to the Painted Room andPanelled Room, meetings and weddings in the Panelled Room.

No. 2 Church Lane. Ground Floor: Commercial Let (retail or office)
1st Floor: Live/Work Studio
2nd Floor: Live/Work Studio

No. 3 Church Lane. Holiday Let (two bedrooms, sleeping four)

Option B

No. 1 Church Lane. Holiday let (two bedrooms, sleeping four) with voids on Saturdays to allow for wedding use, plus guided tours visiting the Painted Room.

No. 2 Church Lane. Ground Floor: Commercial Let (retail or office)
1st Floor: Live/Work Studio
2nd Floor: Live/Work Studio

No. 3 Church Lane Residential let (two bedrooms)

Town Council Offices