Council agrees further £138,000 from taxpayers coffers to fit-out troubled Hitchin Town Hall project – with a typo seeing a possible £6k lost in addition

Hitchin Town Hall

Hitchin Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Councillors last night voted to fast-track a six figure payment required to fit-out troubled the Hitchin Town Hall project.

The amount of £137,985.02 was rubbed-stamped last night at a full North Herts District Council meeting in order to avoid breaking an agreement with Hitchin Town Hall Ltd, the group originally formed to oversee the contentious scheme which the council is now in dispute with.

The extra cost stems from the ongoing argument with HTH Ltd, which saw the council decide to run the facility itself in July.

The figure relates to an amount required to fit-out the facilities, including £64,563.27 budgeted for a cafe and kitchen, £1,540 for an administration office, £51,635 for two rooms, and a figure of £20,246.75 for ‘general’ work.

Chris Parker, chair of Keep Hitchin Special, said after the meeting last night: “It’s just more cost to the taxpayer.”

In another twist, a typo on a council document relating to further potential losses could see an additional £6,000 loss per year.

The figure comes after it was announced the possible monthly loss – if the museum fails to open by December – should have read as £2,800 per month, not £2,300 as previously stated by the council.

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This would mean an extra £6,000 deficit per annum if the museum did not open for a full calendar year from this December.