A historic landmark in the heart of Trowbridge town centre is temporarily closing for a £8 million major makeover that could take up to two years.

The Grade II-listed Town Hall closed its doors to the public on Saturday (July 29) for a much-needed period of remodelling and refurbishment.

All the fixtures and fittings within the building will be removed so the refurbishment works can start shortly afterwards.

The works form part of the £16.3 million investment in Trowbridge through the government’s Future High Streets Fund, which aims to breathe new life into the town centre.

Once the improvements are completed and the Town Hall reopens - the scheduled date is the summer of 2025 - it will be a major creative and community hub, comprising custom designed performance and activity spaces, recording studios and a licenced café bar with refurbished spaces for a wide range of community activities.

Councillor Phil Alford, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for strategic assets, said: “A key aim in our business plan is making sure our towns are resilient, ensuring our communities are able to grow sustainably with access to leisure, arts, heritage and culture.

“The refurbishment of Trowbridge Town Hall is central to developing a unique cultural offer in the town, encouraging increased footfall into the town centre and helping to revive Trowbridge’s evening economy.

“The significant investment into the Town Hall will restore the building, safeguard its long-term sustainability and maximise the capacity for the building to host an exciting and vibrant programme of cultural, community and social activities within Trowbridge.

“The Town Hall has been at the centre of life in Trowbridge town centre for over a century.

“During this time, it housed a library, courts and cells, then it became popular with dances, concerts and performances and, since 2010 it has been run by a charity, Trowbridge Town Hall Trust to reanimate the historic building as the creative heart of the town.

“We now look forward to the Town Hall reinventing itself again, so it continues to remain a much-loved venue during the next 100 years.”

During the period of refurbishment, the Trowbridge Town Hall Trust will continue working in the community, preparing for next year’s Mid-Summer Festival and providing two major outreach programmes aimed at engaging the younger generation.

Alan Wright, the director of Trowbridge Town Hall Trust, added: “As the Trust prepares for closure, there are mixed emotions.

“On the one hand, a sense of excitement at the prospect of returning to a building that will be fit for purpose as a major incubator of creative talent that the town can be truly proud of.

“On the other hand, we will miss the day-to-day contact with all those who have been supporting the Trust since it was first set-up just over a decade ago.

“However, the work we are planning in the community over the next two years will more than compensate for the temporary closure of the Town Hall and engage with more residents than we have ever done before.”

The Future High Streets Fund aims to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that improves experience, drives growth and ensures future sustainability.

In total, 72 places will share up to £831 million from the Future High Streets Fund to help them recover from the pandemic by improving transport links, building new homes and transforming underused spaces.

Applications were invited for the Government fund, and Trowbridge was one of 100 towns shortlisted

In December 2020, Wiltshire Council was provisionally awarded £16,347,056 for Trowbridge. In May 2021 this funding was formally awarded.