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Chronology re the Town Hall, Assembly Rooms & Dewey House

(March 03, 2010)
ON Saturday visitors to the assembly rooms were encouraged to fill out a 'Mayor's Questionnaire' about their ideas for the future of the Town Hall, the Assembly Rooms and Dewey House.
On the other side of the A4 sheet was a 'chronology' of the Assembly rooms. It states:
'The following are the decisions made so far on a possible move to the Assembly Rooms. Planning permission has been agreed by Wiltshire council.
'6th November 2006 Council advised by accountants DCK Beavers that it would need to absorb the costs of the Assembly Rooms which were increasing year on year. On purchase of the rooms at the cost of £1 from West Wiltshire District Council in 2001 the rooms were given a grant from the town council of £28,000 and were expected to return a profit. At this point the rooms needed double this amount to stay afloat - £15,000 just to cover essential repairs on top of the running costs each financial year. The heating system had failed - replacement boiler £40,000. For every hour that the rooms are open - running costs = £55.80  - income amounts to £22.65 - loss to the council £33,15
'22nd October 2007 Council resolves to investigate the possibility of someone running the Assembly Rooms on a lease back scheme. Investigates selling Dewey House and utilising the funds to modify and move all council operations into the Assembly Rooms, creating a smaller hire facility, new council offices, CCTV and Council Chamber. Feasibility study to be carried out.
'November 2007 Dewey Hall trialled as Council Chamber to give members more room and the clerk more space to run an office. Deemed not successful.
'16th June 2009 Council propose in principle to support the move of Warminster Town Council to Assembly Rooms subject to cost of providing Chamber staff offices and halls for hiring. BTA architects commissioned to prepare planning application for the proposed plans for the Assembly rooms and procure tender documents for submission to contractors.
'18th January 2010 Structural Engineer, Quantity Surveyor and CDM co-ordinator appointed. Papers relating to loan put to Secretary of State requesting permission to borrow £800,000 from Public Works Loan Board. PWLB offers three variations to borrow. Annuity - fixed half-yearly payments to include principal and interest - £1,353,130 over 25 years. Yearly repayments = £54,126. EIP - equal half yearly increments of principal and interest on the outstanding balance - £1,260,020 over 25 years. Yearly repayments £8,080 reducing by £722 each year - heavier in early years but average over 25 years - £50,401. Maturity - half-yearly payments of interest only with single repayment of principal at end of term. There are penalties for making early repayment.
'February 2010 Loan details not agreed until funds are required. At this stage there is no agreement to borrow until project goes ahead. After discussion with the PWLB it is likely that funding will be agreed but maximum borrowing in one financial year will be £500,000 and the Council may miss this financial year.
'1st May Possible closure date of Assembly rooms, all hirers notified. All refunds have been made for deposits paid.
Vision for Warminster encourages you to let us know what you think by going to our 'have your say page' or contacting the councillors who may also be willing to answer any further questions you have. If the council website is working their contact details can be found at

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