Ealing's iconic town hall, Perceval House and Central Library could be transformed in a move to revitalise the town centre and save money.

The Labour authority is exploring the possibility of the town hall becoming a hotel, restaurant, small number of flats and modest office space for councillors, with the council still owning the site.

The council says at the moment this grade two listed building is run-down, needs expensive repairs and has high running costs, so its development would fund improvements to community facilities, council meeting rooms and marriage rooms.

Leader of Ealing Council, Julian Bell, said: “The council is facing significant changes to its services over the next few years as we respond to unprecedented budget cuts. At the same time, Ealing town centre is at the heart of west London’s exciting regeneration thanks to developments such as Crossrail, Dickens Yard and improvements to our two shopping centres.

“It’s therefore common sense to look at how we can make the most of our buildings.”

The council is seeking proposals from developers which ensure the town hall continues to be accessible to the public, offers affordable and improved community space and retains its civic functions.

Leader of the council Julian Bell
 

The cabinet has also agreed to look at how the council’s offices at Perceval House and its car park could be redeveloped. Ideas include demolishing the existing building which is expensive to maintain and will become too big as the number of council employed staff reduces.

Smaller offices could be built on part of the Uxbridge Road site, at another location, or the council could move to an existing office building to enable the development of housing. All developments would be subject to planning approval.

Ealing Central Library may temporarily relocate from the Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre with a longer term option of moving into a redeveloped Perceval House, where the council would not need to pay rent.

Mike Tiley, member of the executive committee for Ealing Civic Society but speaking on a personal level, said: “I think it would be a pity to move the library out of the Centre. The whole idea when they built that was to have a mix of public services and commercial use.”

He said in terms of the town hall, if it was developed carefully so important rooms were kept while also becoming a hotel, it could work.

Conservative Deputy Leader, Councillor Tony Young, said: “It is not very long ago the Central Library was refurbished at quite some cost; £3.9 million. It is therefore ludicrous to think the council is prepared to write this investment off.

“The temporary accommodation would only be 10,000 sq ft, a faction of the current 25,000 sq ft it currently occupies.”

He added an estimation that the library would be in temporary accommodation until 2023 and said last time this happened book lendings reduced considerably.