Looking to get hitched? Saffron Walden town council buildings to open for weddings this spring

PUBLISHED: 14:05 10 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:43 10 February 2015

Saffron Walden Town Hall.

Saffron Walden Town Hall.

Archant

Couples will now be able to get hitched in the Saffron Walden’s 18th century council buildings, after the historic decision was made this week.

On Monday, councillors agreed to apply for a licence to conduct wedding ceremonies in the Market Square building from April 1, which means those wanting to tie the knot can do so in several rooms, including the council chamber room which is currently used for meetings.

“So much money has been spent on furniture in the council chamber, it makes sense that we use that part of the building,” said town clerk Gordon Mussett.

The move, which will increase the wedding capacity of the rooms from hosting receptions to ceremonies as well, was made to boost revenue from town council services.

But the decision was not popular with all members present at the meeting of the property, services, personnel and finance committee.

“I’m not in favour of it,” Councillor David Watson told the Reporter.

“I don’t think the [council chamber] room is suitable for weddings. It’s very inflexible, as the table can’t be taken out of the room.

Cllr Watson also expressed concern that ability to hire the town council buildings exclusively was not in keeping with the planned £2m transformation of the property, which could go ahead pending a funding decision by the Heritage Lottery Fund, expected to be made in March.

“We want to make the town hall a much more inclusive building,” he said.

“One of the proposals [at the meeting] was that you could hire the whole building – that worries me because that goes right across what we’re looking to do with the funding. We don’t want to close off the town council building to visitors.”

Under the new service, couples will be able to hire out the assembly hall for £750 and the council chamber for £250. The court room and kitchen can also be hired out in conjunction with renting other rooms.

The exclusive hire of the whole building will also be feasible, for an additional £100.

In a bid to increase revenue across its services, the town council is also working to increase the number of weddings at Bridge End Gardens, and is looking to hold ceremonies in the town hall. Charges for the town cemetery on Radwinter Road have also been raised.


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