Safety first: Scaffolding erected for Moot Hall ceiling repairs

PUBLISHED: 28 March 2024

Colchester City Council is set to commence the final phase of the Town Hall building assessment, focusing on essential repairs to the Moot Hall ceiling.

Following extensive surveys in 2023, it was determined that the Moot Hall ceiling required significant repairs due to safety concerns. As a result, the Moot Hall has been closed since September. This latest phase signifies a critical step towards its eventual reopening.

Work will begin on Tuesday, 3 April at 8:00 am, with the construction of an external tower in front of the Town Hall. This phase is expected to take 3-5 days. Public access to the Town Hall will continue but the footpath will be closed during working hours.

Following the construction of the external tower, construction equipment and materials will be hoisted directly into the Moot Hall using a crane positioned near the scaffolding, commencing on either 8 or 9 April. This phase, expected to last 5-6 weeks, will also involve the construction of an internal birdcage scaffolding structure within the Moot Hall itself.

Public safety is our top priority. QFS Scaffolding Ltd will be responsible for securing the entire work area, while access to the Moot Hall will be strictly limited to authorised personnel only.

The Moot Hall ceiling, a suspended fibrous plaster structure, is at risk of collapse. To avoid that risk, as has happened at the Piccadilly Theatre (2019), Ipswich Church (2018), and the Apollo Theatre (2013), the council is committed to its thorough restoration.

Councillor David King, Leader of Colchester City Council, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused by these works. However, these repairs are essential to ensure the building's safety and preserve this historic landmark for future generations. We appreciate everyone's patience as we work diligently towards its reopening.”

The remainder of the Town Hall remains open for weddings and other events.

The section of work beyond the balcony is anticipated for completion by the week beginning 6 May, with a full handover of that section occurring during that week. However, these timelines are subject to change due to the delicate nature of the restoration work on this historic building.

We will continue to keep the public updated on the project's progress.

Page last reviewed: 28 March 2024


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