Manchester

Manchester town hall: refurbishment planned by council

Manchester town hall
Image caption Manchester town hall is in urgent need of repair, says the council

Manchester City Council has agreed to consider a major refurbishment of its grade-one listed town hall.

A council report described the Victorian landmark as being in urgent need of essential repair.

The initial phase of works to modernise the building would cost £2.2 million but the overall bill could rise.

Labour councillor Jeff Smith said it was vital that "the most important building in Manchester is maintained for future generations".

The report discussed by the council executive proposes electrical, mechanical, heating and structural work.

The building has not had a full upgrade since its completion in 1877.

The report said: "Continuing without addressing the backlog of issues would ultimately lead to the building becoming unusable, resulting in the extensive replacement works, redundancy and even potentially disposal."

But Mr Smith moved to allay fears that the town hall faced closure, saying their decision to act now would secure its future.

English Heritage helped with initial investigative work to ensure that the council's proposals comply with strict standards associated with upgrading listed buildings.

Councillors will also consider repairing Albert Square's cobbles and drainage system.

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