A UNANIMOUS vote has been made for the Armstrong Hall to be rebuilt on its current site in Thornbury.

The option was voted for unanimously by the Armstrong Hall Trust during a meeting on Tuesday in Thornbury Town Hall following months of public consultation.

Plans for a rebuild were one of three options put forward by the town council, with the others being a full refurbishment or relocating to Turnberrie’s Community Centre.

An overwhelming 80 per cent of participants in the public consultation said they were in support of the rebuild option, which would demolish the existing facilities, while preserving the historic Cossham Hall, with a significantly larger stage and performance space being built on the site, which would also incorporate Thornbury Museum, estimated to cost £4.9million.

Having announced the intention to update the facilities last summer, the council originally put forward the refurbishment and relocation options, with the move to Turnberrie’s proving highly unpopular with residents.

Earlier this year, the council announced it preferred an option that would see the halls remain on its existing site, either with a refurbishment or a full rebuild, after South Gloucestershire Council, the owners of the community centre, said they would only offer a 50 year lease in return for millions of pounds of investment into the building.

During the meeting on Tuesday, the Town Council, who are the sole trustees of the complex, discussed the next steps, including how they intended to source the funding through a council loan, developer contributions and external grant funding, as well as restructuring the trust to incorporate more interested and experienced parties from the community.

Cllr Clive Parkinson, who has led the redevelopment working group, said that after 14 months of work, the trust was now in a position to “move forwards towards a future work programme”, adding that the rebuild was “the clear preferred option of the Thornbury public”, and urged everyone at the table to support the plans.

It was also highlighted prior to the vote that it was not known yet what the final design would look like, with existing plans only be for guidance, and that the council would seek further input before a decision is made.

Speaking after the vote was cast, Thornbury mayor and Armstrong Hall Trust chairman Cllr Helen Harrison, said: “This is the beginning of a journey rather than the end, and we look forward to bringing the community with us.”

Cllr Maggie Tyrrell added that it would be a considerable task to raise the funds expected for the rebuild but said it would be “an exciting project and wonderful legacy to leave the town”.