A PUBLIC meeting to discuss the future of a popular community arts centre in Thornbury now has a date.

Two multi-million pound options were presented by Thornbury Town Council that could see the Armstrong Hall Complex extended and fully refurbished, or more controversially, relocated to Turnberrie’s Community Centre.

A third option has now also been added for rebuilding on the existing Armstrong Hall site, retaining the Cossham Hall and museum.

If the move to Turnberrie’s goes ahead, a two-to-three storey extension of the building would be constructed to offer better facilities, including a 450-seater performance hall and large meeting rooms – costing around £4.5million – with the Armstrong Hall site being sold for redevelopment to meet the price.

Should the decision be made to remain at the current site, the whole site would be refurbished and modernised, with the redevelopment of the adjacent bakery annex for meeting rooms and other facilities – costing around £3.5million.

Formerly a chapel, the site was bought in 1888 and converted into the Cossham Hall, a community space which was gifted to the town and run through a committee of trustees.

The larger Armstrong Hall opened in 1972, with the site having since played host to many clubs and societies, as well as a range of public events and performances.

Both sets of plans were presented at public consultation events in September last year, but after residents raised a number of concerns regarding the proposals, including finances and ownership of the facility, given the centre is owned by South Gloucestershire Council.

Subsequently calls were made for a town meeting to ensure all questions have been answered and residents are well informed. This has now been announced for Thursday, March 1 - time and location to be confirmed.

The public consultation period, which gives residents the chance to have their say, will run from February 15 to March 9.

Back in December, South Gloucestershire Council made a separate decision to relocate the town’s library facilities to the community centre, but the town council have said this will not affect the final decision.

An Armstrong Hall Trust spokeswoman said that they appreciate the feedback from the community on the previous consultation, hence the introduction of the third option.

She added that it would be likely that a decision would be made on March 20.