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Future of Victoria Hall Remains Uncertain
Wednesday 21st October 2015 @ 12:58 by Tom Greggan
Glossop Chronicle News

The future of one of Glossop’s best loved buildings hangs in the balance.

Victoria Hall- built by benefactors 100 years ago- is on borrowed time. It’s believed Derbyshire Council, who use the ground floor as a library, say the building needs £3m worth of repairs and they don’t want to spend that kind of cash on something they don’t own.

The upstairs hall of the building needs repairs and has been closed for years. Scaffolding- costing £1000-a-week in hire charges- has swathed the hall since April while structural checks are carried out.

County councillors say initial work costing £100,000 is needed ‘to make sure the building gets through the next few winters’.

Glossopdale county councillors Dave Wilcox, Ellie Wilcox and Damien Greenhalgh broke the shock news late last Wednesday afternoon.

They then hand delivered up to 500 explanatory letters to people living near the Talbot Street library and to shocked members of Glossop SOUL (Save Our Unique Library) who are fighting to save the building.

It has been revealed that the hall roof needs new covering and work to the structure; structural repairs are also needed to external walls; with timber repairs needed throughout the building. Also required is a heating system and ‘substantial rewiring’.

All of which means a repairs and refurbishing bill of around £3m.

The letter said: “Because of the financial situation facing both Derbyshire County Council and the High Peak Borough Council, the cost of the repairs and the high cost of running the building, it has been agreed by both councils that Victoria Hall isn’t a viable place in which to continue to run a library fit for the 21st century.”

Glossop Victoria Hall 2

The councillors say DCC will now consult local people on two options for a new library- both on the site of the adjacent Glossop Adult Education building.

One is to build a separate library in the car park or build an extension ‘sympathetic to the design of the Adult Centre’ attached to the existing building.

The letter said: “We’ve still set aside £1.9m for a new library so we’ll now consult local people about the two options we have.

“Our own preference is for an attached building but we will listen to representations before making a proposal.”

SOUL however has other ideas. At a public meeting with the councillors on Monday night they put forward a third option.

They want Victoria Hall turned into an inclusive multi-use building and would be willing to work with DCC to apply for funding.