Essex

Historic Braintree Town Hall re-opened after revamp

Braintree Town Hall was a gift from benefactor William Julien Courtauld
Image caption Braintree Town Hall was a gift from benefactor William Julien Courtauld

The historic Grade II* Braintree Town Hall in Essex has been officially re-opened after £200,000 was spent refurbishing the building.

Braintree District Council paid for the work, which included essential repair work to safeguard the future of the clock tower.

The refurbishment also included cleaning and repairing stonework outside and inside the 1926 building.

The town hall was a gift from benefactor William Julien Courtauld.

He wanted to create a civic building to raise the standard of local architectural and artistic values.

Ron Hutley, 91, who has lived in Victoria Street, Braintree, all his life remembers the opening of the town hall when he was six years old.

'Striking centrepiece'

"It's a lovely building, with beautiful paintings in the upstairs rooms. When I worked... at the council it was my job to go on the outside of the clock faces every day to correct the time but it didn't worry me," he recalled.

Joanne Beavis, cabinet member for communities, said: "This refurbishment has brought out the best in this stunning building which is such a striking centrepiece to the town.

"Investing in the town's heritage will help boost visitors to the town and ensure a thriving future for Braintree. We hope lots of people will come along to the open day and will be inspired to book the town hall for their own private or corporate events."

A council spokesman added: "The refurbishment provides an improved range of facilities for the town hall including meeting rooms, improved catering facilities and ornate function rooms."

The council hopes the refurbished rooms will be hired out for meetings, weddings, baby naming ceremonies, funeral wakes and corporate bookings.

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