New conference centre is planned for council offices

South Ribble Borough Council's banqueting suite
South Ribble Borough Council's banqueting suite
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The council’s former banqueting suite - once a venue for wedding receptions and other functions - is to be turned into a new business and conference centre.

The ground floor facilities at Leyland Civic Centre are set to be transformed into a business and conference centre with a planned £80,000 makeover.

The scheme is part of the council’s drive to being entrepreneurial and financially self-sufficient - with £42m being committed over the next five years to improving services for residents and transforming the way the council works.

Councillor Colin Clark, cabinet member for corporate support and assets, said: “The council is working exceptionally hard to look at ways to make the very most of our assets.

“We are committed to ensuring that we are financially self-sufficient when government funding is withdrawn in 2019/20. As part of that, we are continually looking for new ways to generate new income to ensure we can continue to provide excellent services for our residents.

“Transforming the former banqueting suite is just one project we are looking at.

“It’s a fantastic space that we use as our council chamber and it has all the makings of an excellent business and conference centre.”

The proposals, which include modernising the facilities in West Paddock and creating new meeting rooms, were revealed as part of the council’s new corporate plan.

The five-year plan prioritises place, health and wellbeing and excellence and financial sustainability.

It is underpinned by the £13m annual budget which was agreed last month.

Councillor Clark added: “As with all public services, we are facing significant challenges and need to change the way we work with a clear focus on operating more commercially.

“As well as the scheme for the business and conference centre, we are also looking at ways to utilise Worden Hall – with one idea being that it could be opened as a restaurant.

“South Ribble’s Cabinet is working with a dedicated project team of officers to carefully look at the options and drive forward the proposals as quickly as possible.

“We have committed £80,000 to modernising the former banqueting suite with the changes being undertaken in two phases.”

The council’s corporate plan also includes proposals to provide more services digitally as well as looking at new ways of working, including sharing some services with partners.