County council backing sought for hall Friends

13:24 27 September 2012

The Elizabeth Hall up for sale. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 8775-19-12AW

The Elizabeth Hall up for sale. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 8775-19-12AW

Archant

A bid to enlist County Hall’s support to retain the Elizabeth Hall takes place next Thursday (October 4).

East Devon District Council (EDDC) is selling the hall on Exmouth seafront as part of its regeneration plans.

Campaign group The Friends of Elizabeth Hall want to retain the building as a community arts and a visitor centre, and is one of the proposals being considered.

And now two Exmouth county councillors will ask fellow members at the full county council meeting to back Exmouth Town Council and their support of proposals by the campaign group.

Councillors will be asked to vote on a motion proposed by Councillor Eileen Wragg and seconded by Councillor Brenda Taylor.

The motion reads: “That this council adds its support, in principle, to that of Exmouth Town Council in supporting the Friends of Elizabeth Hall, Exmouth, in their efforts to acquire the Elizabeth Hall for community use.”

Councillor Wragg said: “Having got the support of the town council we felt it would be helpful having the support of the county council.

“Under localism this government is focused on communities developing their ideas and giving them a greater say.”

An EDDC panel has been given the task of choosing the council’s preferred bidder and its preferred proposal.

The decision will be based on criteria including whether the proposal will attract visitors to the seafront and if it will positively promote links between the town centre and seafront.

Other criteria include the commercial viability of the project, whether the bid includes a financial offer, and if the proposal encourages the further regeneration of Exmouth.

The county council vote takes place the day after the panel’s recommendation goes to EDDC’s cabinet meeting on October 3.

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