Wedding cash bliss at Town Hall

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MORPETH Town Hall is bringing in more money than expected according to the latest figures.

The building’s income is close to the town council’s target total for 2012/13 after just four months.

A big factor is its continuing popularity as a wedding venue, with 104 large ceremonies taking place between April and August.

Couples can celebrate their nuptials in the Ante Room, Ballroom or Corn Exchange depending on the number of guests. Bookings can be made through Northumberland County Council’s Registration Service.

But there has also been an increase in community bookings, which accounted for 47 per cent of the income generated during that period.

Morpeth Town Council Clerk Gillian Turner said: “To bring in further income, we’re looking at providing the hall for business seminars with a certain number of people. We’ve had enquiries about conferences, but realistically there won’t be enough parking spaces for hundreds of people.

“We’re examining the possibility of having wedding receptions downstairs in the Corn Exchange and more community events such as pie and pea suppers and awareness days.”

She added that any surplus money is ring-fenced for future works to improve or repair sections of the Town Hall.

Coun Ed Hillier said: “These figures are brilliant and it shows that the building is being run very well by ourselves and the registration service.”

Efforts are also underway to see if a toilet can be installed on the ground floor as users currently have to go up the staircase to access this facility.

Coun Derek Thompson said an extra toilet, even if it was a single one, would be welcomed by disabled people and those with reduced mobility.

• Residents can now go online to see what the Town Hall has to offer. A virtual tour is available at www.morpethtowncouncil.org.uk – click on ‘Services’, then ‘Town Hall’ to find the link.