PLANS have been drawn up to bring Kidderminster Town Hall back to the centre of the town's social calender by increasing entertainment on offer and widening audiences.

Wyre Forest District Council hopes to attract top performers by revamping the venue with external funding and improving the organisation of events.

It is hoped the improvements will generate additional income for the council and increase the number of people visiting Kidderminster town centre.

The commercial approach, set out in a report by cultural services manager Kay Higman, will be discussed at an overview and scrutiny committee meeting tonight. 

Conservative councillor Ian Hardiman, Wyre Forest District Council’s cabinet member for community wellbeing, said: "We recognise that the town hall is a valuable civic and community asset in the heart of Kidderminster.

"We want to make the building fit for purpose for future generations and it will require external funding to help achieve this. Options include an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund but it will take much more than that.

"The rock heritage of the town hall from the 1950s and 60s is a significant legacy and together with the wider regeneration of Kidderminster town centre we want to increase the entertainment on offer and widen our audiences.

"Increasing the footfall through the town hall for all sorts of events will also impact on the businesses in the town especially the night time economy.

"Whilst music of several genres will be one of our most important areas for development along with reaching new audiences, we also want to retain the traditional users and hirers of the venue."

The town hall team has been asked to generate an additional £25,000 in 2015/16, rising to £50,000 after 2017.

Short term plans include rebranding the town hall, learning from Wolverhampton Civic Halls management, encouraging weddings to be held in the venue, setting up an online box office for ticket sales and improving lighting and sound provision.

If a Heritage Lottery Fund application is successful, the town hall could see a dramatic revamp including a new green room, a new cafe and new racked seating.

Kidderminster Town Hall opened its doors in 1855 and has seen eminent leaders including a young Winston Churchill, prime minster Stanley Baldwin and women's rights campaigner Emmeline Pankhurst making speeches at the venue and the Rolling Stones, Tom Jones and The Kinks cutting their musical teeth on the town hall stage.