Historic Guildhall to be refurbished
Winchester City Council has approved a £3.2m scheme to renovate and restore Winchester Guildhall.
The funding will come from the legacy of the late Bapsy, Marchioness of Winchester, who bequeathed money to the Council for the specific purpose of developing the Guildhall.
Indian born Bapsybanoo Parvey, who died in 1995, also left a magnificent full length portrait of herself to display in The Guildhall. Her generous bequest will result in a superb new facility within the Guildhall in which her portrait will take pride of place.
Winchester Guildhall serves as a major conference venue and recently had the honour of being chosen to host the Knights Templar Triennial International Conference which included over 300 delegates from 17 different countries.
The refurbishment project will help the Guildhall to continue attracting visitors from far and wide, while a brand new café with an opening on the Broadway promises to become a popular new attraction for local residents and visitors to the city.
Cllr Frederick Allgood, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Estates and Efficiency, said: “This project will bring significant economic, social, and cultural benefits to the City. Winchester Guildhall is a building for the people of Winchester and one of our aims is to offer better facilities for community use whilst also continuing to attract visitors from further afield.”
Ian Folger, Winchester Guildhall Manager, added: “The Guildhall plays a big role in the life of Winchester. We host a wide range of major events throughout the year and this refurbishment project will ensure that the Guildhall can continue to fulfill its role as an important community venue.
As well as the extensive refurbishment of the main hall, the project will also include improved access, lifts to all floors, new carpets, new doors and lighting, refurbished staircases, and new display areas for items from the city’s art and museums collections. The work will also improve the energy efficiency of the building through the installation of modern energy saving features and improved insulation throughout the building.
Exterior work will begin in January 2010 with the interior work due to commence in April 2010.
The project will be conducted in stages, allowing the building to remain operational for most of the duration of the work. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of November 2010, in time for the festive period.