Town building hits revenue targets early

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ANNUAL revenue targets for Morpeth Town Hall have been met with three months to spare.

The landmark building in the heart of the town has become one of Northumberland’s premier wedding venues, as well as serving as a centre for community events, social gatherings and exhibitions.

It is run by Morpeth Town Council and Northumberland Registration Services under an agreement from the county council and, as well as paying rent to the authority, the management partners hand over a share of the facility’s income.

This year, the county council upped the annual income target to £30,000, but a report to Morpeth Town Council’s property and asset management committee revealed that £33,000 has been raised from community bookings and weddings in just nine months.

Now the surplus will be ring-fenced for further investment in the Town Hall.

Town council clerk Gillian Turner said: “The £30,000 we have to pay to the county council has already been paid and anything over that goes into a ring-fenced pot to be spent on the Town Hall.

“We have got about £55,000 in that pot at the moment, but it can only be spent on the Town Hall, on things that the registrars and the town council agree on as a partnership.

“The aim is that a few years down the line we will make the building cost-neutral.”

Money from the pot has previously been spent on renewing crockery, buying a mat for the entrance hall, adding safety lighting and putting railings up.