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Tenterden Town Hall Renovation Project

An ambitious project to deliver much needed improvements to the historic Town Hall.  The Grade II listed building which occupies a prominent position on Tenterden High Street, will undergo extensive renovation to achieve a sustainable, community-based building, which is both welcoming and accessible to all, whilst addressing issues arising from the declining state of the building.

What is happening?   The Town Council has planning permission to undertake extensive restoration works to this historic building, with the tender process to appoint a contractor now underway.  Tender documents are available to view on the Invitation to Tender section of our Finance page, available here

How much will it cost? The cost in June 2023 was evaluated at £1,848,105.

Where will the money come from? The funds will principally be drawn from land sales from Tent1a land.

How will the project be achieved? The town council is working with architects (Hollaway) and project managers (Logic PM) to bring the plans to fruition.

How long will the works take? It is estimated that the works will take 12-18 months to complete.  The Town Hall will remain closed during this period.

When are works expected to start? It is anticipated that building work will start in late summer of 2024.

Where can more details be found?  Details of the plans for the building are available here, or view the plans on ABC’s Planning Portal.

Town Hall video A short video showcases why improvements need to be made to the Town Hall and sets out how the building can best serve the community in the future, click here to view the video. 

Background information and further details

The Town Hall is a community asset, owned and maintained by Tenterden Town Council (TTC), the building which is located on Tenterden High Street is Grade II listed, within the conservation area and an area of archaeological importance.   

The rear of the building is formed through an asymmetric extension of little heritage value dating back to the 1930s. The Town Hall is used currently as office space and for meetings, community activities, events and shows and is a licensed marriage venue.  The building fulfils an important role in the community due to its use as an advice centre for Tenterden Town Council, Ashford Borough Council (ABC) and the Citizens Advice Centre. 

In its current form, the layout of the building - on the ground floor, is haphazard and confusing and makes poor use of the available space.  The building is difficult to manage and maintain, suffers from unacceptable levels of humidity and excessive rising damp, has an archaic and inefficient heating system and with no insulation is far from being energy efficient. Further, due to the damp and cold - this results in a poor experience for users especially during the winter months.  The building has no lift and as a result the first floor is currently inaccessible for wheelchair users, further there are no disabled toilets in the building or suitable facilities for users with infants. 

The Town Hall Project was conceived to make the building community-based, accessible to all, and welcoming for the next 100 years, whilst addressing issues arising from the declining state of the building.

The project is designed to achieve and enable the following.

  • Increased community use: The brief for the architects was to provide flexible exhibition, working and function spaces and to ensure that the potential uses for the building are many and varied, whilst bringing in additional income, increasing community use of the spaces, encouraging tourism and contributing to an already vibrant local economy.
  • Improved accessibility: included in the redesign is a lift to the first floor and improved access toilet facilities.
  • Sustainability: all reasonable measures to improve sustainability of the Town Hall by reducing the carbon emissions from the building are embedded in the plans. 
  • Repairs to the fabric of the building: the building in its current state requires major repairs, including renewal of the heating system, damp-proofing and rewiring.

The image below, shows the proposed interior of the building.