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The Almonry Project

The Almonry, Battle The Almonry, Battle

The Almonry Development project has been in discussion for approximately 5 years.  The Council must ensure this beautifully historic building remains an asset to the town for many years to come.  All discussion and documentation around the decision making process for this project can be found on the Finance and General Purposes Committee or Full Council pages of the website. Please direct any questions on the Almonry Project to enquiries@battletowncouncil.gov.uk.

Almonry update - June 2020

Draft Strategic Plans are now available.  These will remain in draft until Council has considered action at its meeting on 30th June 2020.

As many Battle residents are aware one of the town’s oldest heritage buildings, The Almonry, is in desperate need of repair. The building needs to be brought up to current health & safety standards, made accessible to all residents and visitors and upgraded to comply with the Equalities Act 2010 regarding employees with physical disabilities. Whilst the unprecedented recent events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic keep us within our homes for the time being, now could be a good time to reflect on other local matters.

There are three key aspects to Battle Town Council’s vision for The Almonry building:

Providing excellent services to residents

Flexible, fully accessible space for increased Town & District Council activities, community groups and the public.

Supporting town development and economic growth

A central and welcoming hub, providing help and information for our community and for tourists.

Preserving our heritage

An expertly restored and ‘reinstated’ building with space for heritage exhibitions will ensure its continued use and enjoyment for years to come.

This overall vision has helped to shape the Council’s deliberations regarding The Almonry. Costs are very important, but they need to be considered in conjunction with thought about how decisions may impact the town, its residents and its heritage assets. Some benefits do not have a monetary value. The Council needs to provide better facilities to meet the town’s current needs, but also wants to future-proof The Almonry. Future needs are difficult to predict, but it is valid to consider aspirations as well as evidence.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is with regret that the Annual Parish Assembly has been cancelled on the 25th April 2020. However, Battle Town Council will still be holding public consultation on the options for the long term future of the Almonry Building via the Annual Report which will be circulated to all residents within the Parish in early April.

Option 1 - Battle Civic Centre Provide a future proofed facility, accessible by disabled people, for Battle with: sufficient Council office space to enable expansion; a formal Council meeting room; a spacious information centre for Town and District Council services; a welcoming Tourist & Heritage information area and flexible meeting spaces for Council and Community use. Repair & refurbishment of The Almonry and rebuilding of the south wing would cost in the region of £895,770.49. Savings are still being explored (indicated to be in excess of £100,000 at the time of going to press).

Option 2 - A refurbished Almonry Provide Council office space for current staffing; a formal Council meeting room; a hub for Town and District Council information and a Tourist Information Point. Repairs & refurbishment of the Almonry would cost in the region of £739,523.87. Savings are still being explored (indicated to be in excess of £100,000 at the time of going to press). NB. Without suitable facilities for staff, Councillors and visitors with mobility difficulties, this option may not be viable. Alternatives to ensure full accessibility for wheelchair users will continue to be sought.

Option 3 - The relocation of the Council offices The Council would rent fully accessible premises that meet current needs. The Almonry would be repaired to rent as offices. The Council would be responsible for ongoing repairs and maintenance. Repairs would cost in the region of £517,231.27. Savings are still being explored (indicated to be in excess of £100,000 at the time of going to press).

Option 4 - The sale of The Almonry Relocation of Council offices to fully accessible premises, either rented or purchased. The sale could raise in the region of £445,000 less professional fees and relocation costs.

The report expands on the information provided above and includes a questionnaire, inviting individuals to think carefully about the different options available and detail which, they feel, is best for the town.

Before deciding how to proceed, the Council wants to hear from residents of Battle Civil Parish. We are calling on a wide range of people to make their views heard, so it is important to have your say. Please complete and return pages 14-16 of the Annual Report to: The Almonry, High Street, Battle, TN33 0EA by 19th June 2020.

Annual memorial inspection - The Council has completed this year's annual safety inspection of the memorials/headstones at Battle Cemetery and St Mary's churchyard. Visitors to the cemetery are asked NOT to reinstall any memorial which has been laid down as all pairs need to be carried out by a qualified stonemason. Anyone wishing to discuss the inspection or a memorial which has been laid down is invited to contact the office. (09/08/2019)

High Street skate ramp -  The council are fund raising to replace the skate ramp on Battle High Street.

The Town Council office is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday

Full Council meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month.  Dates, times and venues of these meetings are advertised on several notice boards throughout the town and are available on the webiste.  Members of the public are most welcome to attend and speak to Members about any issues during the public session or just sit and listen.

Ongoing project information can also be found on this website along with an opportunity to sign up to receive news posts automatically.