Future Of Shire Hall Secured

The future of one of Chelmsford’s most iconic buildings looks bright after owner Essex County Council agreed a deal to secure its future

The Grade II listed Shire Hall within Chelmsford City Centre has been empty for over two years following the relocation of the Magistrates Court.

Following a bid process in which interested parties were able to put forward business plans and offers for the building, Aquila Developments, the developer and owners of the new John Lewis store have been selected as the preferred developer of Shire Hall.

Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council said: “Throughout the process the Council has been looking for a bid that would both make good use of what is a unique building but also be a long term solution. The finances and business plan had to stack up, and I am very pleased that Aquila has been selected with a plan to incorporate a restaurant and also create an area for community use.

“The company have a very good track record in terms of the stores they have already brought into the city centre, and this deal  will not only bring further investment into the city by bringing back into use an empty building, it will help the ongoing regeneration of that end of the High Street.

“We look forward to seeing their detailed plans which will of course have to go through the planning process with the City Council.”