Plans to transform Newtown Council HQ
A council's Victorian headquarters could be transformed into a multi-purpose building fit for all the community, the mayor of a town has said.
Mayor of Newtown, Councillor Richard Edwards said plans are afoot to improve Brisco House – the current home of Newtown Town Council and the Robert Owen Museum – in a bid to encourage "broader use" from members of the community.
He said: "At the latest meeting of the full council, we accepted an invitation from the Sarah Brisco Trust to join them in transforming the building and have agreed to work together to develop a plan of works to change the use of the building.
"Really what we want to do is transform the use of the building for the wider community in order to make it the centre in the centre.
"We want to make it a multi-use centre and thankfully we're part way there with us sharing our building with the Robert Owen Museum.
"Obviously Brisco House is an old building, so we are looking at a complete modernisation. It's early days but we are in the process of drawing up plans and in the past couple of months we've been visiting other centres to see what we can do here, and we've been impressed by some of what we've seen."
Councillor Edwards praised Bishops Castle Town Council for the work they have put into renovating the town hall.
He said: "Obviously Bishops Castle's town hall is on a smaller scale to what we have here but what they've done there is really impressive. Not only is it the home of the town council there, it's also a thriving tourist information centre, it houses a little museum and hosts a range of community events in the town. It's a fantastic facility and something we'd love to bring to Newtown."
As well as improving Brisco House, Councillor Edwards said the town council is also looking at improving access to the building, with some maintenance work planned in the coming months.
The council base, located on Broad St, was built in 1902 by public subscription and is currently owned by the Sarah Brisco Trust.