£2m Town Hall improvement works

A MAJOR £2 million project to preserve Greenock Town Hall for future generations is underway.

The historic 19th Century venue is set for a new roof, windows, and ventilation system as part of essential improvement works.

There will also be improvements to the adjoining Council Chambers.

Work is expected to last until early November 2024.

The Town Hall, part of the Category A-listed Greenock Municipal Buildings, is owned by Inverclyde Council and managed by Inverclyde Leisure.

In order for the works to take place, the Wallace Place slip-road and lower half of William Street are now closed and are scheduled to remain shut until November 2024.

There is still access to Wallace Place, including to Central Library and the Fire Museum, via Hunters Place.

Greenock Town Hall roof works.
Greenock Town Hall roof works. At the Wallace Place slip road, which is closed to accomodate the works, are councillors Francesca Brennan, Michael McCormick, and Graeme Brooks.

Scheduled events in the Town Hall will not be affected by the works and Inverclyde Leisure is still taking bookings.

Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s convener of environment and regeneration, said: “Greenock Town Hall and the Municipal Buildings are some of the finest examples of neoclassical-Italianate architecture in the country and have been admired by people from near and far for around 140 years.

“The Town Hall in particular has been used for countless weddings, gigs, shows, performances, and events over the years and is a cherished part of Greenock and Inverclyde.

“As with any institution, we are only the custodians and have a duty to protect and preserve these historic buildings for future generations to admire and enjoy.”

The Town Hall dates back to 1858 and the Municipal Buildings were constructed around the venue as the population of Greenock and Inverclyde grew significantly in the mid to late 1800s.

Greenock Town Hall roof March 2024
Greenock Town Hall roof March 2024.

That meant that replacing the roof and windows was not a straightforward task.

Cllr McCormick said: “Carrying out these improvement works is no mean feat as listed building consents were required and the Municipal Buildings were built around the Town Hall so accessing the roof itself isn’t easy.

“That’s why lower William Street and the Wallace Place slip road are closed to allow for contractors to safely access certain areas to install scaffolding and set up a site office.

“But these works are necessary and have been a long time in the planning and will safeguard these historic buildings for many years to come.”

The council has invested heavily in recent years to refurbish the internal areas of the Town Hall and Saloon and now work is required to bring the external areas up to standard.

Greenock Town Hall was built in 1765 on land donated by Lieutenant-General Charles Schaw Cathcart, 9th Lord Cathcart.

The Town Hall had major alteration works to the roof in 1858 and the Municipal Buildings were erected around it in the late 1880s.