The town’s previous self-contained Register Office – on Elm Street between the Civic Centre and Combined Court – is set for closure as part of the £15m of cuts set out in the Council’s 2014/15 budget.
But despite the move being instigated due to the need to cut costs, the replacement facility has been described as “an improvement beyond even our wildest expectations” by Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd.
Mr Budd has today praised Council staff who have made the project a labour of love in returning Town Hall office space to its original Victorian splendour and creating a bright and enticing ceremonial venue.
A Grade II* listed building, Middlesbrough Town Hall was formally opened in January 1889 and the part that is now the Register Office comprises what was originally the police station and rooms to serve the adjacent courtroom.
Among the original features that have been restored include a grand cantilevered staircase, terrazzo flooring previously hidden under carpet, wood panelling that had been covered, a ceiling rose and window surrounds.
Another highlight is a grand fireplace recovered from St Luke’s Hospital prior to its demolition which bears the town motto Erimus and has found a new home in the facility’s main wedding room – the Erimus Room.
“The refurbishment work is absolutely breathtaking and is a testament to the passion for the project shown by all those staff who have been involved,” said Mr Budd.
“Due to the cuts imposed on towns like Middlesbrough in recent years we as a Council have had to make a lot of difficult decisions and closing the old Register Office which holds so many happy memories for landmark moments in all our lives was certainly not easy.
“In making that decision we did believe we could actually create a larger and more attractive wedding space that would be more desirable as a venue – but what has been achieved is an improvement beyond all expectations.”
The venue boasts two ceremonial rooms – the Erimus Room (capacity 70) and Victoria Room (capacity 40) – and the first wedding will take place on Friday, July 3.
For more information contact Middlesbrough Register Office on 01642 729004 or email email@example.com