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News MBC consulting on use of Archbishops Palace


 MBC consulting on use of Archbishops Palace    image

Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) is inviting residents and stakeholders to take part in a consultation around the future use of the Archbishop’s Palace.

The Grade 1 listed building is owned by MBC and is currently being let to Kent County Council for use as a Registry Office.  The palace is at the heart of a group of medieval buildings of great historical significance, including All Saints Church and the Archbishop’s Tithe Barn and Stables (now the Carriage Museum). The Palace is due to revert to Maidstone Borough Council next year.

To ensure that the historic building can continue to be maintained and protected in the future, new uses are being considered that are both economically viable and are aligned to the overall development of the surrounding area in the town.  The Council has carried out a feasibility study to investigate and identify potential options for an economically sustainable future use of the Palace and MBC is now asking for the thoughts of the public through an online consultation to help determine its potential use. People can take part in the survey between 8 September and 30 October 2021 which can be accessed on the MBC website here.

The options that have been identified through the feasibility study for the building are:

  1. Co-Working and/or Serviced Offices
  2. A Training and Seminar Centre
  3. A Wedding and Seminar Venue
  4. Boutique Hotel consisting of 12 rooms
  5. Commercial Mixed Use - partly for individual office units to a range of small businesses, whilst also operating a small conference, meeting and seminar centre with occasional public access requirements staging a range of small performance events
  6. Mixed use for widest public access - to use the building for weddings/receptions, a café, arts space, exhibition and gallery spaces and to enable interpretation of the building.

Cllr David Burton, MBC Leader said:

“The Council has a vital role to play as custodian of the Palace and we are very keen to hear from as many people as possible particularly if they are likely to be using the facility as to their thoughts on its potential use.  This will also be a great opportunity to ensure that the Archbishops Palace is protected for the future and will help contribute towards making Maidstone a thriving place.”

The feasibility study asked that the Palace be considered in its local context, including All Saint’s Church and the Carriage Museum, with a view to ensuring that these assets can be integrated with each other and the Town Centre.

Council Members have attended a briefing from Simon Innes, the architect commissioned to carry out the feasibility study and the MBC project team, when potential options for the future of the Palace were presented, discussed and views on potential options were sought.  These options were then presented to the MBC Policy and Resources Committee on 21 July 2021, and with the addition of a further option (option 6 above), are the basis of this consultation.

Anyone who would like more information on the public consultation or possible options for the Archbishops Palace can contact MBC’s Strategic Corporate Property Team by emailing: alexakerstingwoods@maidstone.gov.uk


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