Trowbridge Town Hall Trust has been given a £94,684 grant to help turn the building into an arts centre.
The money came from the Social Investment Business, which has £26 million available to help organisations across the country to take over the running of public services and facilities.
The trust wants to take over the Town Hall from Wiltshire Council, through a community asset transfer, similar to the way Trowbridge Town Council took control of the town park last year. The grant has allowed them to hire consultants the Nash Partnership, the Real Ideas Organisation and Caroline Taylor Consulting, to determine the feasibility of the plans, work out the budget and help with applying to organisations including Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Since 2012, when the coroner’s court moved from the Town Hall, Wiltshire Council has allowed the trust to have a free lease of the building, with the group holding exhibitions and tours.
“This grant represents the two-and-a-half years of hard work by the trust and the Friends of the Town Hall.
“Working on a shoestring, and through the effort of volunteers, we have managed to bring life back into the building,” said Ian Walker, trust chairman.
It is expected that the consultants’ work will take up much of this year with the intention being that the Town Hall will be self-sufficient if it becomes an arts centre.
Laura Pictor, trust director, said: “We hope to make this much-loved building into a venue for great visual displays and music performances as well as being an attractive community space.”
The grant will also allow Trowbridge Town Hall Trust to appoint a freelance project development officer.
For more about the role, email firstname.lastname@example.org and for more about the Town Hall plans visit www.trowbridgetownhall.org