A CONTROVERSIAL £6.1m revamp of Wigan Town Hall has been given the green light.
Bradford based ISG have been appointed as the main contractor for the job of restoring the grade-two listed building.
Council bosses say that the revamp will save the authority £1m a year in employee and building running costs as they look to centralise up to dozen small council satellite offices.
Work is due to start in November on the Library Street council hub with contractors uncovering some of the Victorian town hall’s original features for the first time since they were concealed by modifications to the interior carried out in the 1970s.
They will also create a new reception area with stained glass windows.
A council spokesperson said: “We’re pleased that this important appointment has been made which will create local jobs and save local taxpayers millions of pounds by helping us to drastically reduce the number of buildings we operate.”
The council claim the move will allow 500 staff to relocate and will also be a revenue generator.
Ms Hall said that as the main civic site it needs to be of a high standard and that couples getting married in the atrium have been shunning the Charter Suite for receptions because it looks jaded.
She added: “Weddings are an income generator and there is an expectation that the town hall will be an attractive and accessible backdrop for public life.”
However, opposition councillors slammed the decision.
Coun Gary Wilkes, leader of the Wigan Independents Network, said: “Why should the council taxpayer fund a major scheme just to make council employees more comfortable?”