It’s beginning to look a bit like… the future of Seaton Town Hall will be secured!

East Devon District Council, Seaton Town Council, Seaton’s Voice and Seaton Museum are pleased to confirm that agreement in principle has been achieved which will secure a long term future for Seaton Town Hall as a public building, beneficial to the local community.

The agreement is based on the transfer of the Freehold interest of Seaton Town Council from East Devon District Council to Seaton Town Council, without charge.

Seaton Town Council will concurrently agree a long lease on the Town Hall, excluding the current area occupied by the Museum, which will secure the future of the Gateway Entertainment Venue and the use of the hall by community groups.

Seaton Town Council will then relocate from Seaton Town Hall to Marshlands.

Mayor, Councillor Tony Woodman commented on behalf of Seaton Town Council:

I am pleased that all parties have been able to work together towards an excellent outcome for the future ownership and protection of the Town Hall for the people of Seaton. The Town Council will be ratifying the details at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on 11 January and we are confident residents will agree that the proposed agreement will deliver the economic and community benefits that everyone has been seeking to achieve.

I hope we can now all move forward and ensure the Town Hall continues to offer a fantastic service to both locals and visitors alike. The town council will work hard to further ensure that our proposed new Marshlands base adds a complementary community asset and civic centre, which we can all be proud of.

A representative of Seaton’s Voice said:

We are happy with the progress and results of recent meetings between ourselves, East Devon District Council and Seaton Town Council. The outcome will provide a secure future for The Town Hall/The Gateway and will ensure we can continue to build upon the past five years of work.

We share the objective to secure the building for the community and provide 'something for everyone'. We already have a wide range of events/activities on offer with much more in the pipeline.

In 2016/2017 we will also work hard to raise funds for the necessary refurbishments through patronage and grant funding opportunities. We will hold a further full open meeting as soon as we have any further news.  A further lease will be agreed between Seaton Town Council and Seaton Museum. This will ensure that the museum can continue to offer access to its valued resources, from the upper floor of the Town Hall.

Ted Gosling, Curator of Seaton Museum, added his support:

I am delighted that agreement is being reached in principle to securing Seaton Town Hall for the town. It was over 30 years ago that it was first proposed that a museum for Seaton should be established at Seaton Town Hall, and that museum now houses a wonderful record of the town's history. By all parties working together, the town can be assured that the museum is safe for the future and my collection will remain in the town.

Councillor Ian Thomas, Portfolio Holder for Finance at East Devon District Council concluded:

I would like to add my personal thanks to all from Seaton Town Council, Seaton’s Voice, Seaton Museum and my East Devon member and officer colleagues, for all the work and effort they have made to secure this agreement.

We now have a solution, which I am confident can work well for all concerned. Most importantly, it can secure a sustainable long term future for Seaton Town Hall in the community.

My colleagues and I will continue to offer our support to the Town Council, Seaton’s Voice, Seaton Museum and their advisors as we work together to deliver the plan. I am not expecting any further public comment until after Seaton Town Council moves to ratify the agreement at its Extraordinary Meeting on 11 January 2016.

We would all like to wish everyone associated with Seaton Town Hall our best wishes. Now is the time to relax, enjoy Christmas with friends and family and look forward with renewed confidence to a happy and prosperous future for Seaton Town Hall in 2016 and beyond.