THE ARMSTRONG Hall in Thornbury could be completely rebuilt after councillors admitted they are not looking favourably towards controversial relocation plans.

Plans put forward by Thornbury Town Council and South Gloucestershire Council to relocate to Turnberrie’s Community Centre, with a £4million extension, was opposed by many in the community, with 75 per cent of respondents to last autumn’s public consultation saying they would want the facilities to remain on the same site, opting instead for a full refurbishment.

A third option has now been introduced for a rebuild, estimated to cost around £4.9million, which would see the current Armstrong Hall demolished and rebuilt, whilst retaining and incorporating the Cossham Hall and museum – with plans outlining increased facilities and improved performance space with a larger hall and additional capacity.

The town council have now said their preference is to remain on the same site, following negotiations with South Gloucestershire Council, where they were only offered a 50 year lease for Turnberrie’s in return for £4million investment.

Concerns were also raised over who would manage and operate the facilities, with negotiations over the existing leaseholders having not taken place.

A new public consultation will be launched this Friday, running until March 9, with members of the public being invited to have their say and a public meeting being held in the Cossham Hall on Thursday, March 1 at 7.30pm.

The final decision is expected to be taken by the Armstrong Hall Charitable Trust and Thornbury Town Council on March 20.

Cllr Helen Harrison, Thornbury’s mayor and chairman of the Armstrong Hall Trust, said: “We have listened to the views of people who responded to the previous consultation and have spent time developing a new option that helps to address the concerns raised.

“Having considered South Gloucestershire Council’s offer regarding the ownership and governance of the Turnberrie’s proposal, together with further information about the design and costs of all the options, the trustees and councillors now favour retaining and improving the Armstrong Hall facilities on the current site.

“We would urge as many people as possible to take part in this second consultation so that their views on this new option and updated information can be taken into consideration when we make our decision as to which option to progress next month.”

Information displays will be available at the Town Hall and Armstrong Hall throughout the consultation period, with drop-in session being held at St Mary Shopping Centre on Saturday, February 24, from 10am to 1pm.

Further information and a link to an online survey is available from Copies of the consultation survey can also be picked up from Thornbury Town Hall or The Armstrong Hall throughout the consultation period.

Views can also be submitted by emailing or by phoning 01454 412103.

For the full story, see tomorrow's Gazette.