At Council on Thursday it was revealed that the reserve price for the Conservancy Building, Rochester, is as low as £451,000. The Conservancy Building, an iconic landmark in Rochester Highstreet and an integral part of the Guildhall Museum, is due to be auctioned off on 29th October despite efforts of residents and local Labour Councillors to have the Medway Conservatives’ decision reversed.
Cllr Alex Paterson, Labour Councillor for Rochester West who has been campaigning to save the building said, ‘The revelation regarding the reserve price for the Conservancy building means that on 29th October it could be sold for as little as £451,000. After months of telling residents that selling half of the museum would result in a fully refurbished Corn Exchange, revamping what’s left of the Guildhall Museum, and rehousing the exhibits currently housed in the Conservancy Building, the truth has emerged. The Corn Exchange will receive only essential works totalling £360,000 leaving potentially only £90,000 to fund the other promises. The Corn Exchange will still, in the longer term, require the best part of a further £1million spent on it to bring it up to scratch. Meanwhile, we are supposed to believe that such a low sum left over can pay for any sort of meaningful work to improve the Guildhall Museum. It simply doesn’t add up.
‘We all hope the Conservancy Building fetches far in excess of the reserve price, but every auction is a gamble and it’s deeply troubling that the Medway Tories are so keen to gamble with our local cultural heritage.’
‘We all hope the Conservancy Building fetches far in excess of the reserve price, but every auction is a gamble and it’s deeply troubling that the Medway Tories are so keen to gamble with our local cultural heritage.’ Cllr Alex Paterson, Councillor for Rochester West