SHROPSHIRE Council’s leader Councillor Lezley Picton has made a direct appeal to the Government for funding for Whitchurch Civic Centre.

The council has released a letter sent by the leader to Levelling Up Minister Jacob Young looking for money to fund any future programme of works for the centre which is beset by Raac.

A working group has been set up to consider six possible options for the Civic Centre site and make a recommendation to Shropshire Council’s Cabinet – with the group set to launch a public consultation soon to ask local people for their views.


The group is made up of local Shropshire Council and Whitchurch Town Council councillors and officers, and six options are currently available including do nothing and close the building; Raac to remain and mitigated; replacement of the roof and essential items; demolition and clearing’ demolish and rebuild as existing or redevelop.

Shropshire Council says that these options range in price from £60,000 to £7.6m.

In the letter, Cllr Picton said: “Shropshire Council has reluctantly been forced to take the decision to permanently close Whitchurch Civic Centre.

“The Civic Centre provided a popular, multi-purpose venue encompassing the town council offices and their meetings, the town’s library and registrar services as well as tourist information and Shropshire Council services through the community hub.

“Its hire rooms were continually booked up for regular events such as the weekly Friday market, charity coffee mornings, sports clubs, fitness classes, theatre productions, dog training classes, religious services, funeral teas and wedding receptions, to name just a few.

“It was the venue for large events, professional and amateur shows, the annual Blackberry Fair, and public meetings.

“It has been the venue for the parliamentary count at general elections and the location for all the Whitchurch electoral polling stations.

“It was the beating heart of the town and the surrounding rural area, and its closure has caused a massive public outcry, because it is such an overwhelming loss to so many communities, not just the town itself.

“It was used not only by residents of north Shropshire but also those from south Cheshire and the Maelor area of North-East Wales.

“These are significant costs for my council to consider particularly at a time when we are facing our greatest financial challenges.

“We recognise the Government’s desire to level up funding opportunities to areas such as Shropshire.

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“I would therefore ask you to advise what Government funding may be available to inform the business cases and options for this vital venue.

“I am aware that Helen Morgan MP has also written to you and awaits similar advice from your department.”

The steering group met last week to discuss further options.