The vision for the Town Hall for Watford, at the heart of its civic, commercial, creative and social centre has been granted listed buildings and planning consent. Plans submitted by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, on behalf of the Watford Borough Council, will intensify the use of the Grade II Listed Town Hall by providing cultural, heritage and community facilities, alongside enterprise and creative industry. The new Town Hall will incorporate Watford Museum, a cafe and lettable workspaces for SMEs, alongside reimagined council offices, renovated council chamber, and a new state-of-the-art committee room, as well as enhanced cultural connections with the Colosseum. The proposed interventions to the Art Deco Charles Cowles-Voysey building will transform its use, while retaining and protecting its original features, and optimise its operation to ensure the long term preservation of one of Watford’s most important historic buildings. Tim Greensmith, heritage specialist at FCBStudios said “This ambitious civic project to renew Watford’s Town Hall has the potential to be transformational for Watford’s civic centre. Our plans reinvigorate the building with new workspaces and cultural facilities, alongside the renewal of the civic spaces and their historic interiors, bringing people to the civic centre of Watford and preserving the town’s architectural heritage. “Our ambition is to reimagine the civic building as a heritage asset open to all, and an exemplar of sustainable retrofit, through bringing in new uses, culture and workspaces, upgrading the facilities to meet the challenges of the 21st century. “ Alongside the main project works, a number of interventions to improve the building’s energy efficiency have already been consented with construction currently underway on site. These include refurbishment and upgrading of the original windows with high performance vacuum glazing, in combination with new cavity wall insulation to improve thermal efficiency, alongside multiple improvements to building’s electrical systems including solar photovoltaic panels to the roof. These works are being in part funded through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), which offers funding to public bodies in England to invest in decarbonisation projects. Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “We have worked incredibly hard to create a council building fit for the 21st century while at the same time protecting its heritage. I am in no doubt that this project will ensure the town hall building has a bright future. “These plans for the town hall will open it up to residents, groups and businesses in Watford and create a new community space right at the heart of the town. I am particularly excited about the plans to relocate the museum to the town hall to give residents the opportunity to see more of the collection in a purpose-built space. The project is a key part of our Town Hall Quarter programme alongside the refurbished Watford Colosseum which will make this a centre for the community for many decades to come.” In 2022, plans were approved to upgrade the Colosseum performance venue, which forms the other half of Charles Cowles-Voysey’s Town Hall Complex. Our ambition is that together, the renewed Watford Town Hall and Colosseum, will create a catalyst building for the emerging Town Hall Quarter. Both projects are currently progressing through RIBA Stage 4 technical design, with enabling works having commenced in December 2022. The Colosseum project is due to complete in November 2023, while the Town Hall completion is estimated to follow in early 2024.