Office space plan for unfinished arts centre in West Bromwich
An arts centre in West Bromwich that has been “beset with problems” may finally be completed, thanks to a possible ┬ú1.4m loan and a plan to transform one floor into office space.
‘The Public’, a ┬ú72m arts centre that opened in June 2008, was a massive ┬ú49m over budget and 12 months behind schedule. As yet the scheme is still unfinished, as two floors are still in need of work.
According to the Birmingham Mail, a recent report by auditors KPMG encouraged councillors to consider decommissioning or knocking the building down, as it had been “beset with problems” since it was conceived 15 years ago.
A further ┬ú1.4m loan would reportedly complete the building, and provide 640 sq m of offices and conference space that would be let to businesses.
Sandwell Labour MP Tom Watson now wants to exhibit the Staffordshire Gold Haul at the arts centre, which could significantly boost the building’s potential. The hoard was previously on show at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, where tens of thousands of people lined up to see the local treasure before it was taken to London for valuation.
Watson says: “People flocked to see it at Birmingham but the West Bromwich building would be ideal because of the modern facilities at The Public, and the town’s extraordinary transport links.”
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