Community hall in Southam to come under ownership of town council

A deal was agreed that will see the town council pay £1 to buy the district council’s half share of the building which is valued at between £600,000 and £700,000

Grange Hall in Southam. Photo by Google Streetview
Grange Hall in Southam. Photo by Google Streetview

Southam’s Grange Hall is to come under the ownership of the town council after a deal was agreed that will see them pay £1 to buy the district council’s half share of the building which is valued at between £600,000 and £700,000.

The transfer will be subject to a restrictive covenant that limits the use of the building, which is in the grounds of the Grange off Coventry Road in the centre of town, to a community hall and if the site were ever sold for development, Stratford District Council would receive an appropriate share of the sale price.

The matter was discussed at the cabinet meeting of the district council on Monday (November 28).

Cllr Trevor Harvey (Con, Shipston North), the portfolio holder for resources, said: “This transfer is based on the notion that Southam Town Council already undertakes the day-to-day management of this locally valued community facility and the transfer would eliminate this council’s current responsibility for 50 per cent of the building’s maintenance costs.

“This is not regarded as a contentious matter, rather it is a pragmatic proposal that provides local clarity within Southam over ownership, maintenance and operation of this valued community hall.”

A report from the council’s deputy chief executive, Tony Perks, explained that with the exception of Alcester’s Greig Hall, which was leased to Alcester Town Council, the district council did not own or operate any similar community facilities.

The deal was backed by ward member Cllr Andy Crump (Con, Southam South) who said: “There will be cost savings to the district council and I think it makes sense. I have not had any residents say that this is not a good idea because it avoids ambiguity.”

Having been used as an area office, sublet to Warwickshire County Council and commercially let, the early 19th Century Grange building was sold off in 2022 but the land around it remains subject to a number of parking and access rights in relation to the Grange Hall.

The proposal was given unanimous approval.