01 Jun 2021
Caddick Construction has completed the refurbishment of the historic Kendal Town Hall.
South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC) main reception area has been relocated to the front of the town hall to make it more accessible for customers and community groups. Spaces have also been created inside the town hall for use by community organisations.
The work on the town hall is the first phase of a project to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the council’s main accommodation in Kendal as part of the authority’s Customer Connect transformation programme.
The Caddick Construction team is delivering the second stage of work to remodel the offices in South Lakeland House, so that around half the office space will be available to let to other organisations and creating a ‘Mintworks 2’ new enterprise centre for start-up businesses, to build on the success of the existing council-run Mintworks hub on Highgate, which has supported hundreds of small businesses and clients in the five years since it opened.
Designed to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability credentials of these buildings, the works will include improvements to insulation and windows and a green roof, solar panels and motion sensor LED lighting will be installed where appropriate to provide further efficiencies.
Mark Walker, Contracts Manager at Caddick Construction said: “Completing the refurbishment of Kendal Town Hall is a significant milestone. It has helped to secure the future of the Town Hall and as the team continues to progress the South Lakeland House remodel, we will also deliver vibrant, healthy workspace designed to improve productivity and appeal to modern businesses.”
New Leader of SLDC, Councillor Jonathan Brook, said: “The opening up of the new-look town hall is a real milestone for our Customer Connect programme.
“Moving the main reception areas for the public to the front of the town hall will make visiting the council much more accessible and user-friendly, especially improving disabled access, and puts the council at the heart of the high street, rather than tucked away and accessed down a narrow yard.
“The additional meeting spaces that have been created mean the town hall can be better used by community groups and for events, safeguarding its role as an important community building.
“With the work to the town hall and South Lakeland House we wanted to ensure that anything we did would be cost-effective for the taxpayer, make the very best use of the buildings, safeguard the future of the town hall as a civic and community facility and make life easier for our customers.
“We believe that this scheme delivers on all those points. This first phase has now been completed, which is a great credit to everyone involved given the many challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Councillor Andrew Jarvis, SLDC’s Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for Finance and Assets, said: “The full scheme for the town hall and South Lakeland House offices is costing £4.9m, which will be more than fully repaid through the benefits of having a more efficient building, reduced costs and additional income from letting out surplus office space. This will give ongoing savings for the council from year one.
“Under Customer Connect we have already re-shaped our workforce so knew we wouldn’t need to use all of such a large building in the future. Alternatives were considered, including moving to smaller offices or sharing with other organisations, but none of these offered the protection for the town hall, and were very much dependant on finding an alternative use for South Lakeland House and would have worked out much more costly in the long-run.
“By re-modelling South Lakeland House we can let out surplus space on much of the top and ground floors to other organisations and create a new enterprise centre for start-up businesses, supporting business growth and job creation, which are key council plan priorities.’’
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