The Future of Arnold House
As part of the Town Council’s Strategic Plan 2014-18 (Asset Management), the Strategic Plan Working Group has considered several options for the future of Arnold House. The property is under-utilised and, as an old listed building, will require difficult and costly maintenance over the next five years. The current and potential income which the Town Council could generate is less than the projected running costs.
The space required by the grounds team is set to increase as the Town Council takes on more services from Wiltshire Council and as the number of amenities that require maintenance increases. The current facilities used by the grounds team will not be suitable in the medium term and alternative storage and welfare facilities are being sought.
The property was left to the parish council by the late Joan Pictor who passed away in 1959. There are no covenants restricting the sale of the property. A large part of the garden was sold in the 1970s and now forms part of the long-stay car park.
Following careful consideration the Town Council has made the following decisions:
i) that subject to suitable alternative depot and welfare facilities being provided for the outside staff, Arnold House, including the Guide Hut, be disposed of;
ii) that an interim plan be developed for temporary use of Arnold House, which optimises that space available and generates revenue;
iii) that the Town Council ensures there is appropriate communication and publicity with residents, tenants and hirers about any decision on the future of Arnold House;
iv) that the priorities for tourism development contained in the Strategic Plan, Destination Management Plan and Destination Marketing Plan be made a high priority.
The above decisions are being pursued but it may be several months before any significant changes are made.