Trust announced plans for £5million redevelopment of hall

Huntingdon's Commemoration Hall

Huntingdon's Commemoration Hall - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon’s Commemoration Hall will close for a year as part of plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment.

Commeration Hall in High Street, Huntingdon

Commeration Hall in High Street, Huntingdon - Credit: Archant

Work on the Grade-II listed hall’s £5million revamp is due to begin in April, next year, following a decision to go ahead with the development by trustees.

Scott Hutchinson, trustee and project manager, said: “We decided rather than spending on the hall and doing different sections and spend money on maintenance, we would close it to be able to demolish and rebuild the inside.”

“We want to have more community facilities and a number of spaces to give a number of different options to attract people to perform at the hall.”

Within the proposals, trustees hope that currently unused rooms can be opened up within building, in High Street, to allow for a variety of events including open mic nights, comedy sessions and smaller music gigs.

“The hope is that we can have a number of different events running in the hall at the same time. It is a way of offering different things for different people,” said Mr Hutchinson.

Before plans are submitted the trustees have been in discussion with those who run the Burgess Hall and the Corn Exchange, in St Ives, to see how the hall can be modernised.

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“We want to be able to attract similar groups to the area that would normally play at other venues and make Huntingdon a great place to go for them. Doing this we will be able to try and attract the type of people that go to Cambridge,” added Mr Hutchinson.

Within the plans the hall will also be able to have a gallery and café as well as upgraded existing facilities including dressing rooms, lighting and toilets.

Once the hall is re-opened it is hoped that is will become a social hub for the people of Huntingdon.

“We want to make this a real community hub, we are trying to push that it is the hub of the town and the centre to the town.”

While the building is being revamped, groups who use it will be helped to move to other halls and will be invited back to make use of the brand new facilities in 2018.

The original plan saw the hall being given a makeover worth up to £1million but, following talks with a fundraising organisation, it was decided that more money was needed to complete the project.