The latest roof repair and redecoration works at Huddersfield Town Hall are on target to be completed by Christmas – but a council report says there’s a repair and maintenance backlog of up to £20 million.
Work to repair sections of the roof of the Grade II*-listed building started in May this year.
Kirklees Council says the work is on schedule and director of regeneration David Shepherd said: “We’re currently 19 weeks through a 33-week project to update and future-proof our beautiful Huddersfield Town Hall. The work is currently due to be completed by Christmas this year.”
The works include replacing sections of roof, installing more durable materials and improving rainwater drainage.
Conservation works will also be carried out on masonry, windows will be refurbished and the flagpoles restored. There will also be some internal repairs and redecoration including to the council chamber and mayor’s office.
A full re-roofing, which started in 2016, will be completed when the latest work finishes.
The council, meanwhile, has plans to save £455,000 on its town halls and buildings as it bids to cut £47.8 million from its budget.
Under the proposals, Huddersfield and Dewsbury town halls would continue to be considered “core assets” with improvement works underway at both.
However, a report to the council’s Cabinet on Tuesday September 26 reveals a £5 million-plus maintenance backlog at Huddersfield Town Hall – which could cost over £20 million if full repairs are carried out.
The report says: “A programme of major investment to the building’s external fabric has been underway over the past seven years, due for completion late 2023-24.
“This has included a full re-roof, pointing and stonework repairs, window repairs and drainage improvements.
“However, a forward plan is now required to consider the interior beyond basic repairs and backlog maintenance.”
The annual running costs of Huddersfield Town Hall are £525,000.
At Dewsbury Town Hall (below), which has also seen recent improvement works, the maintenance backlog is estimated at £4 million.
The cost-saving proposals will see Cleckheaton Town Hall mothballed. The main hall is currently closed after part of the ceiling collapsed. The council says shutting the town hall will allow extensive investigations to get underway.
Batley Town Hall would remain open but Batley Library will be closed and the library moved into the town hall. Dewsbury Library will also move into the Walsh Building, next to Dewsbury Town Hall.
There will be no change proposed for the council’s fifth town hall – Slaithwaite Town Hall – in Cross Street which already houses Slaithwaite Library and provides office accommodation.
Clr Graham Turner, Cabinet member for finance and regeneration, said: “The council faces a significant financial challenge in the coming years, and the need to produce a balanced budget in February has meant we have to look at how we operate and deliver services, and where we deliver those services from.
“As part of the process of delivering a balanced budget we need to save significant amounts of money from our assets budget.
“Reducing the number of buildings we operate from and creating a core of building assets will mean that we have the space we need to deliver vital services and provide office accommodation for staff without paying for buildings that are not fit for purpose.”