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Councillors will next week be asked to approve proposals to re-market the long-term lease of Perth City Hall for 6 months to allow new applications to be made.
The report, which will be considered at a meeting of full Council next Wednesday (25 June), also recommends that the application to demolish the building is put on hold while the building is re-marketed and consideration is given to any offers which are made.
Perth & Kinross Council has been consistent in its commitment to finding a solution for Perth City Hall which answers the ambitions of the Council and citizens for a vibrant city centre, as set out in the Perth City Plan, in a way which is economically sustainable. In 2011 a comprehensive survey of public opinion showed that the 57% of the public and 69% of businesses responding supported the development of a City Square on the site of Perth City Hall. That remains the decision of this Council and was reaffirmed in December 2013 when a further period of re-marketing failed to produce a single viable business case for future use of the building.
However, since the meeting in December there has been a fresh expression of interest in the building and subsequently planning permission to convert the City Hall into a hotel was granted lasts month. This new proposal, as well as continuing interest from other parties, means that Council officers are now recommending that is a reasonable course of action to give those developers the opportunity to prove the financial viability and long-term economic impact of their proposals.
If the recommendation to re-market the City Hall is approved by Councillors then interested parties will be asked to submit offers supported by a full business case demonstrating deliverability, funding and commercial viability without the need for public subsidy. Prospective bidders would be invited to submit offers that complied with the requirements specified by consultants Jones Lang LaSalle in the previous round of marketing.