DEVELOPER WITHDRAWS FROM REGENERATION OF DERELICT TOWN HALL

DEVELOPER WITHDRAWS FROM REGENERATION OF DERELICT TOWN HALL

20-May-11

Python Properties has withdrawn its plans to regenerate Thornaby Town Hall after reviewing obstacles to transform the derelict building and create jobs in the town.

In a letter to Stockton Borough Council on May 13th, Python Properties noted key factors for its withdrawal from the proposed project. Major influences included Thornaby Town Council’s unwillingness to cooperate with the firm to regenerate the building, which fell into disuse and disrepair in the late 1980’s

Thornaby Town Council, which occupies two small rooms on the ground floor of the building, has refused to vacate the premises whilst work is carried out. This has also lead to a significant delay in the redevelopment, thus creating unrealistic timescales for work to be carried out before the funding criteria for the scheme ends.

Python Properties’ also noted the delay and lack of cooperation had created an unacceptable commercial risk for both themselves and funders.

Python Properties partner, Peter Broome, said: “This decision has been taken with a heavy heart - we remain of the view that the regeneration of Thornaby Town Hall will be a superb scheme for the area and something we would have liked to be associated with.

“It is particularly disappointing to see that the group that stood to gain the most from our scheme, Thornaby Town Council, has succeeded in its aim to block the regeneration of this historic building, create a local landmark to be proud of and most importantly bring much needed jobs to Thornaby.

“There seems little or no prospect given current economic circumstances and the general withdrawal of grant funding for a scheme to go ahead in the foreseeable future, and the window of opportunity we fear has now been lost for some considerable time.”

The £750k regeneration project would have involved returning the building to its former glory, attracting businesses to the area and creating jobs.

It was also believed that the ‘beacon’ development would of inspired regeneration in the surrounding area as it has done with Python Properties’ current development project of the Cargo Fleet Building, Middlesbrough.

The grade two listed property and its four extensions, along with the building’s impressive council chamber would have been returned to its original status.

Python Properties’ partner, Martin Johnson, said: “Thornaby Town Hall has always been a public building and this is something we wanted to ensure continued. The refurbishment of the office space and chamber would have been open to the public to visit and look around. Rental of the chamber would have also been free of charge for community groups and tenants.”

Python Properties’ partners have declared to Stockton Borough Council if the current difficulties are resolved they would be delighted to renewal their plans to transform the building.

 
 
 

     One of the points that were of main interest to us was the fact that we could plan the workspace and Martin & Peter really helped us through the process of planning the office. Since moving in we have been very impressed with their responsive and very proactive of working with us, if we have had any problems they have dealt with them straight away. They have monthly meetings where we meet up with all of the other tenants in the building and we talk through the issues we may have

Steve Taggart (North West Regional Manager)
Kinetic plc, Warrington (Current tenants, Bank Quay House)

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