TROWBRIDGE Town Hall stands to benefit from a £12 million bid to improve parts of the town centre.

Wiltshire Council and Trowbridge Town Council are hoping to gain cash from the government’s Future High Streets Fund to implement their plans.

The hope is to make a contribution to the Town Hall Trust's plans to further develop the building for arts and community uses, including a new 550-seat capacity auditorium in The Great Hall.

One of the main priorities will be to encourage more people to use the community and arts events and activities offered at the Town Hall.

David Lockwood, director of the Town Hall Trust, said they are launching a public consultation to see what people want from the building.

He said: "This building was built for all inhabitants of the town, but at times in its life, it was largely used by its more active citizens.

"As we go forward, restoring this incredible asset at the heart of the town, let’s make sure it is a home for all residents. To achieve this, we need to hear from all voices. You can help here. Please spread the word.

"131 years ago, the Town Hall was opened for the residents of Trowbridge. Working with specialists, we’ve ambitious plans to help it last another 131 years. Your contribution will determine that future."

The public consultation opens on Friday January 31 and will run throughout February.

In addition, on Saturday February 1, Colin Kay and Rick Jotcham, the Trust's chair and vice chair, will conduct guided tours of the building.

People can fill in a survey on or visit the Town Hall for a paper version, or contact Mr Lockwood directly by emailing

Other priorities for the FHSF bid will include revamping parts of Trowbridge town centre streets to improve pedestrian and cycling links.

These could include providing a new town centre square, new leisure facilities, and changing traffic flows.

Lance Allan, Trowbridge Town Council’s town clerk and chief executive, said: “I will be attending a meeting at County Hall on February 13 to set the priorities.

"We anticipate that the bid will be for around £7m to £12m from the FHSF and are also hoping to obtain funding from other sources.”

Wiltshire Council has already appointed Inner Circle Consulting, a London-based project and management consultancy to help prepare the bid.

Inner Circle specialises in programme management, leadership and delivery in the public and private sectors.

They will undertake the bidding work, including engagement with the local community and partnership organisations.

Mr Allan said: “The town council will be fully involved in assembling the detailed bid to the FHSF, which will focus on elements of the Trowbridge Masterplan which have not been but can be implemented.”

The Masterplan elements which will form part of the bid are likely to include a two-way traffic scheme on Hill Street/Upper Broad Street and Conigre to allow traffic on Wicker Hill to be significantly reduced and improve pedestrian links from Innox Mills to the old town centre.

Mr Allan added: “The town council may also ask that this scheme includes the reversal of traffic on Manvers Street to remove more traffic from Wicker Hill."

"We would also like a north to south cycle link along Wicker Hill/Manvers Street and Fore Street between Innox Mills and the park.”

The scheme may also include improved pedestrian/cycle links along the River Biss linking Innox Mills through the Shires to East Wing, St Stephen’s Place and Biss Meadows.

Other elements could feature improved links from the old town centre around the Town Hall and Castle Place to St Stephen’s Place and the Civic Centre alongside the park and the multi-storey car park.

This would be linked to the sale of the car park by Wiltshire Council to APAM, the owners of Castle Place/St Stephen’s Place.

The councils hope to assemble land in the area bounded by Court Street and Castle Street occupied by the toy shop, hand car wash, printers and private parking lots.

This would allow them to provide an improved pedestrian link from the old town centre to Cradle Bridge, alternative bus bays, a new town square, and opportunities for the re-use of the mills between Court Street and the river and pedestrian links to County Hall and the East Wing.

The pedestrianisation of Market Street and Silver Street could also form part of the bid. This would enable the councils to move the bus stops and taxi rank to Castle Street.

The redevelopment of East Wing could also take place to provide leisure facilities and a pedestrian link from County Hall to the town centre via a new pedestrian footbridge over the River Biss to Court Street.

There could also be a comprehensive new pedestrian and cycling signage scheme covering the town centre area and routes to and from the suburbs and surrounding communities.