THE operation and management of Kidderminster Town Hall could be taken on by the town council in a cost-cutting move by Wyre Forest District Council.

Town councillors voted unanimously in favour of the transfer at a meeting on January 30 and have now put in a formal request to take on the day-to-day management of the Grade 2 listed landmark, which is already owned by the town council.

If approved by Wyre Forest's cabinet on Tuesday (February 12), the plan would involve the district council paying a decreasing grant totalling £272,860 to the town council over the next five years.

Part of the district council's Localism Programme, the move is expected to save the authority £114,100 from 2023.

Wyre Forest District Council leader Marcus Hart said: “Our Localism Programme has been extremely successful in giving town and parish councils and local organisations a greater say in running local services which meet the demands of different parts of the district.

“Transferring Kidderminster Town Hall will put the town council in control of developing this much-loved and historical landmark and ensure its future prosperity for many years to come.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

"It will also deliver financial savings to the district council in these challenging financial times.”

The transfer would also see the town council take over the contracts for six district employees, currently based at the town hall, as well as the running of events, hiring out the hall and hosting heritage weddings from April 1 this year.

Wyre Forest cabinet member for culture, leisure and community protection Councillor Juliet Smith said: “I fully support these proposals and I am very pleased that the district council is able to agree to the town council’s request and provide financial support to help ensure a smooth transition period.

“Taking on the operational and management responsibilities will give Kidderminster Town Council greater autonomy over one of the town’s most important and much-loved cultural assets and give them full rein to continue to develop its full potential as an events and wedding venue to meet the needs of local people."

Kidderminster Mayor Councillor Martin Stooke added: “I am delighted that Kidderminster Town Council is taking on the running of the town hall.

"This was a unanimous decision of Kidderminster Town Council and it is our intention to continue the work of Wyre Forest District Council to develop Kidderminster Town Hall for use by all the community and to have an outstanding venue for the area.”