Shire Hall is a Grade II* listed landmark building and is one of the most attractive features in the heart of Stafford.
As well the double height space overlooking Market Square, the complex also includes two former court rooms, holding cells and extensive office space to the rear.
Faced by running costs of approximately £300,000 per annum at a time when the county council is investing record amounts in social care, the authority is committed to meeting its legal duty so that the Shire Hall is maintained and preserved for future generations, while seeking ways to ensure the building is busy, successful and able to sustain itself without placing a financial burden on local taxpayers, while contributing to the wider regeneration of Stafford town centre.
The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, experts in identifying regenerative uses for old and historic buildings, was commissioned to identify the next steps to finding a long term solution:
Several interested parties have suggested ways forward. The next step is for independent expertise to be used to assess all the options available for uses that are financially sustainable and suitably support the town centre economy and to identify the options for delivering those uses.
In line with the recommendations from The Princes Regeneration Trust an options appraisal has been commissioned and can be found here:
Statement of significance
As part of the ongoing work to ensure a secure and viable future for Shire Hall, the County Council has commissioned a “Statement of Significance”. This Statement will help us to further understand, appreciate and care for Shire Hall, and to make informed decisions about any proposed material changes that may be necessary in future.
This is an opportunity for you to comment, if you wish, on why you feel that Shire Hall plays such a vital part in the history of Staffordshire. For example, the physical features, or aspects of social or historical significance such as famous people associated with the building, memorials, or events that happened nearby.
The Statement of Significance consists of two parts. Part One is a general history and an assessment of overall significance using the categories suggested by Historic England in their Conservation Principles and those suggested in the National Planning Policy Framework. Part Two is a Gazetteer which briefly describes and assesses in detail the heritage significance of all the main spaces and groups of spaces within the building.