TROWBRIDGE Town Hall is ready for a massive funding investment which will see it transformed into the thriving heart of the high street.

Earlier this year central government awarded Wiltshire Council with £16.3m to invest into its county town. And while this amount is less than the £23.7m bid for – spirits are far from dampened.

Quite the opposite, as a once in a lifetime boost of over £8m from the Future High Streets Fund will be invested in upgrading the Town Hall, and will allow the venue to fully realise its own history as the jewel in the Trowbridge crown.

Opened in 1889 the building was used for council meetings, petty court sessions and as a ballroom. And it has not stopped being the cornerstone of the town since, as music stars like The Who and Rod Stewart have played inside the ashlar stone walls.

Since lockdown restrictions have eased the Town Hall has begun to push itself as a community and cultural hub. Evidenced by the live music, coffee mornings, yoga sessions and weekly film showings put on by film programmer Lorena Pino Montilla.

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The £8.1m coming to the iconic building will make up the lionshare of money for a £10m scheme. The remaining £1.9m will be fundraised with applications to lottery funders including Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as individual donations.

“I am delighted that the Town Hall has been awarded this funding. A fully restored Town Hall at the heart of Trowbridge will once again be a vibrant hub of activity, breathing new life into our High Street,” Town Hall director, David Lockwood said.

“If you’d like to have your say on what activity takes place in the building post-refurbishment, please let us know, starting with the public events early next year.”

Additional projects being supported by the funding include improving accessibility and connectivity, offering business grants to encourage long-term occupation of the high street, bringing the vacant Market Hall back into use and enhancements to the River Biss to make it safer for pedestrians.

Leader of Wiltshire Council, Richard Clewer said: “The Future High Streets Funding provides an exciting opportunity to breathe new life into the high street.

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“I’m delighted that a substantial amount of funding is being used to support the town hall and bring it completely back into use ensuring its future as a hub of activity at the heart of the town.

“This investment will be complemented by other projects aimed at transforming the town centre, attracting visitors and businesses to the area, providing an economic boost to the local economy and protecting local jobs.”

“We know there is a lot of interest in these projects and we will host a two-day public event early next year to provide an update on the progress being made in developing these projects and seek input from local people to ensure we can deliver the best outcomes for people of Trowbridge.”

The council will be hosting events on January 27 and 28 there will be a chance to hear more about the various town hall projects and have your say on the Future High Streets Fund developments proposed.

More details will be made available as soon as possible.