This Grade 2 Listed Building, on the Northgate site in Bridgwater Town Centre goes under the auctioneer’s hammer on February 25th. Unless, that is, a joint bid by Bridgwater Town Council and Bridgwater & District Civic Society to defer the sale for another 6 months is successful. This will be achieved if Sedgemoor District Council accepts their application for the building to be listed as a Community Asset
Glen Burrows of the Bridgwater Civic Society said “ The aim is to procure the building for community ownership and use. A number of proposals have already been made: community office, lecture theatre, meeting rooms, museum extension, exhibition space among them. What we need are representatives of local organisations to join us in developing a bid, and help us to raise funds to retain the iconic building for community use”.
Westover Councillor Brian Smedley, who chairs the Town Council’s Community Assets Working Party, said “This panel is tasked with identifying key buildings in the town which we don’t want to fall under the Developers Hammer with disastrous consequences as we’ve seen with, for instance the Hope Inn, and so we’ve asked, and we’re asking, people to nominate buildings to focus on. The Magistrates court-which hasn’t functioned as a Courthouse for 3 years now, is a popular suggestion, but at the end of the day we need to identify a community use and the finances to be succesful. The obvious use is, well, a ‘Magistrates Court‘ but yet again decision-makers outside of Bridgwater ruled that option out. We also decided at the meeting to hold regular Heritage Walks where people could join us in identifying buildings and where we could maintain a progress report on specific items of interest.“
Invitations have gone out to meet at the entrance to the former Magistrates Court for a private viewing of the premises, on Friday 20th February, at 11am. This will be followed by a meeting in the Town Hall, to draw up detailed proposals.
Any local organisations wishing to be represented should contact the Town Clerk at: firstname.lastname@example.org