Former Midhurst library turns over a new leaf

C141056-2 Mid Move  phot kate'Members of Midhurst Town Council working on the move to their new premises. From left: Gordon McAra, John Quilter, vice chairman, Glyn Upjohn, the Rev David Coote, John Etherington, chairman, Mark Purves, and Adrian Moore member of the public helping with planning.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C141056-2 SUS-141125-164026001
C141056-2 Mid Move phot kate'Members of Midhurst Town Council working on the move to their new premises. From left: Gordon McAra, John Quilter, vice chairman, Glyn Upjohn, the Rev David Coote, John Etherington, chairman, Mark Purves, and Adrian Moore member of the public helping with planning.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C141056-2 SUS-141125-164026001

IT was the dawn of a new age when Midhurst Town Council moved into its new office at the old library in Knockhundred Row.

And it was a dream come true for Gordon McAra, town councillor and West Sussex County councillor whose brainchild it was to save the historic building from being turned into housing and make it a community facility.

The move came after months of negotiation with the owner of the building, West Sussex County Council, headed by chairman of the town council’s premises group John Quilter.

The town council has taken a lease and hopes to buy outright in the next few years.

The town council office upstairs has been refurbished and is now open for business as 
before on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday between 10am-midday.

The telephone number 01730 816953, remains the same.

Chairman of the town council John Etherington said: “We have achieved what we set out to do, which is to save this historic old building.

“Our town council office is up and running and we have already held our first meeting there. All our meetings will be held there in the future which will save us having to rent rooms as we did in the past. Now we are busy restoring the rest of the building and we hope it will be ready for community use next spring.”

He paid tribute to town councillors, volunteer project manager Adrian Moore and other volunteers who had helped contractors with plumbing, electrical and other work.

Mr Quilter said: “It’s been an incredible effort by everyone to get the building from its original state to where we are now. I have also been very excited by the overwhelming support from the community.

“We are hoping to provide space for the rural town co-ordinator and a headquarters for the Town Team.

“We are also in discussions with the town’s museum to provide display facilities.”