Northwich residents have revealed their vision for the town’s new entertainment and leisure venue.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has outlined the key findings from a recent consultation exercise which asked what facilities and features people would like included.
An overwhelming majority – 88 percent of respondents – agreed that the main hall should be used for entertainment rather than sport.
Most people agreed the finish of the hall should be of a high standard, with suspended ceilings and the use of quality materials such as wood.
The most popular food and drink option, chosen by 58 percent of respondents, was a cafe bar serving light lunches and a selection of meals that would also open in the evenings.
When asked about art, the two most popular themes were the town’s history (37 percent) and acts and bands that have performed at the Memorial Hall (29 percent).
And 69 percent voted in favour of providing a water chute at the swimming pool, similar to the one at Moss Farm.
Questionnaires could be completed online and at a series of consultation events, where people also voted for Memorial Court as the name for the £12.5m venue.
Councillor Stuart Parker, Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, said: “We would like to thank everyone who took the time to give us their views.
“All feedback will be taken into account as we work with our design and build partner Wates to develop the proposals for planning consent.”
Subject to approval, Memorial Court will occupy the site of the Memorial Hall and former magistrates court.
It will replace the facilities at the Memorial Hall and the pool, squash courts and gym at Moss Farm.
Geoff Hope-Terry Chairman of the Weaver Valley Partnership Board, the Council’s partner in the scheme, said: “I think this has been an object lesson in obtaining the highest possible level of local involvement in the emerging plans for Northwich, and it has set out a clear picture of what people want.
“The new Memorial Court is going to be a great asset to the town.”
Meanwhile, following discussions with ex-service organisations, it has been agreed that the memorial stones in the former magistrates court gardens will be relocated prior to demolition works.
They will be moved to a designated area in Weaver Square during July, ahead of the next commemorative service in August.
Local Councillor Paul Dolan said: “I am sure local residents will be pleased at the progress being made in bringing this state-or-the-art entertainment and leisure venue to Northwich.
“The community will be able to have their say on a detailed design before a planning application is submitted.”