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Plans for Glossop's heritage buildings

Plans to create a thriving arts scene in Glossop and return the town's historic heritage buildings to public use are moving forward with the borough's leading councillors due to discuss proposals this week.

Updates on progress with projects to restore the Market Hall and Town Hall to community use will be considered by High Peak Borough Council's Executive on Thursday together with proposals for the future of Victoria Hall following the granting of planning permission for a new library in the town.

The Council has committed £2 million to a project to restore the Market Hall and Town Hall. The exciting project is being developed in partnership with the Glossopdale Trust and initial discussions have taken place with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) regarding the additional funding needed to make the project feasible.

Councillor Tony Ashton, Leader of the Council, said: "Together these buildings form the cultural centre of Glossop. They tell the story of the town's past and hold the key to our aspirations for the future in developing an environment where the arts and creativity can thrive.

"Having considered a number of options we're taking this opportunity to be ambitious by pursuing schemes which we believe are exciting and have the most positive impacts for the town's residents and businesses."

The next stage of the project is to consult with the market traders and businesses operating from the buildings before making a bid to the HLF for funding.

The future of Victoria Hall is also in the spotlight following Derbyshire County Council's decision to grant planning permission for a new library.

The Borough Council is supporting proposals for the creation of the Victoria Arts Centre in the building - a plan which has been well received by the community.

As Victoria Hall is held in trust, the Council will now contact the Charity Commission about the establishment of a new charitable trust to own, renovate and look after the building.

Councillor Ashton added: "Now that the County Council has taken the decision to move to a new library, we can't risk leaving the much-loved Victoria Hall empty for a long period of time.

"We'll be focussing on exploring the feasibility of the Victoria Arts Centre proposal and how we can link this project to the wider regeneration of the Market Hall and Town Hall.

"I want to be clear that the Council can't deliver these schemes alone so we'll be working with local people, and organisations including the Victoria Arts Centre and the Glossopdale Trust, and using the wealth of local talent to attract the additional external funding required to return these important heritage buildings to the best possible use."