Call for Bill’s Produce Store in Horsham Town hall

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A DECISION on the future of Horsham Town Hall is expected in mid May.

Horsham District Councillors will debate and decide the future of the Council owned Grade II listed building in the town’s Market Square at a special Council meeting to be held on Tuesday 15 May at 6pm, a meeting that is open for the public to attend.

The Council agreed last December to put the building on the market for lease or sale and the special Council meeting will consider a report on the outcome of this marketing exercise by Horsham District Council’s Cllr Roger Arthur, the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources and Efficiency.

Cllr Arthur will recommend that the Council accepts the offer from Bill’s Produce Store Ltd. and grants a lease for a restaurant (A3) use.

This follows the consideration of four bids in response to the Council’s recent marketing exercise of the building.

A fifth sealed bid was received from the Blue Flash Music Trust but the Trust refused to allow Council to open it so it could not be considered.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Cllr Arthur said:

“I am very pleased with the interest shown in taking on this important building.

“The bids we received were subjected to detailed evaluation processes looking at financial and qualitative aspects such as the suitability of use for this location.

“Two strong bids emerged and I have concluded that Bill’s Produce Store Ltd. had the edge.

“But in case for any reason the proposed agreement with them does not proceed, I will also be recommending to the Council to agree that the runner up - WJ King Brewers Ltd. - should be offered the lease.

“I am confident that we will soon see significant private investment going into the building to refurbish it and to ensure that it has a secure future.”

The 15 May Council meeting will take place at 6pm in the Council Chamber, Horsham District Council, Park North, North Street, Horsham RH12 1RL. Questions from the public at the meeting are welcome, as always, by advising the Council of them by noon on Friday 11 May – please email lesley.morgan@horsham.gov.uk or call 01403 215123 for details.