Ambition for Borough’s Guildhall revealed

Kingston Council is exploring opportunities to safeguard the future of its historic Guildhall headquarters, while increasing public access, updating civic facilities and improving spaces for service delivery.

The council is committed to retaining the Grade II listed Guildhall, built in 1935, while finding more cost-effective ways of providing the best possible services to residents.

As part of this work, it is looking at refurbishing the Guildhall building to celebrate its historical context and continue its purpose as the civic heart of Kingston, while providing a cost-effective way to accommodate council services and staff in a more sustainable and accessible building.

When the council last spoke to people in 2021 about possible future proposals for the Guildhall, 77% of respondents said they wanted continued public access to the space, with 93% thinking it was important to restore the building for future generations.

While potential plans for the future of the main Guildhall are being developed, the council will continue to use the 1970s office building, known as Guildhall 2, as its main office space in the meantime. The other 1970s office building on the site, known as Guildhall 1, will be brought forward for sale.

This project is at a very early stage and local communities, staff and other stakeholders will be asked to share their views on any future proposals as they take shape. A report and outline business case detailing the options which have been considered will be presented at the council’s Corporate and Resources Committee on 20 February. Councillors will be asked to consider selecting a preferred option and moving to the next stage of the project by agreeing the initial funding needed to appoint a design team to develop the proposals further, and carry out public engagement.