WEYMOUTH’S Guildhall could be transformed into a bar or restaurant after council officers called for it to be repaired and sold.

The Grade II listed building is currently used by the Register Office and the Weymouth Community Volunteers with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council using it for full council meetings six times each year.

And the council’s management committee is being urged to vote for structural repairs to be done before it is put forward ‘for future disposal’ when a review of all council property is carried out.

Councillor Peter Chapman, finance spokesman, sees it as inevitable that the Guildhall will be sold with a bar or restaurant the likeliest option because of the building’s layout.

He said: “For the size of the building and cost of maintenance you would have to argue that it’s probably not worth us keeping.

“To my mind it’s just a question of when we try and dispose of the premises and whether we do the repairs before or after.”

He added: “It’s Grade II listed so the infrastructure worth keeping will be kept.

“If it goes to public use more people will see that than at present and it would have to be along the lines of a bar or restaurant.

“I don’t think the structure and layout is particularly practical for much else.”

In the officers’ report for the management committee meeting on September 7 they expressed their fears of a backlash if the building is sold.

The report reads: “There is also a risk of reputational damage because a decision to sell could be seen as the council abrogating its responsibilities.”

No sale price is currently being estimated as the council’s property manager is recommending repairs are carried out first amid an unpredictable market.

Scaffolding was put up this year when officers called in structural engineers. Work to reconnect stonework and the backing masonry is expected to cost £38,000 and work that will include opening up infilled windows will cost a further £27,000.

Professional fees have not been listed in this cost and the total is therefore expected to be £92,000. This is the officers’ recommended option while a more comprehensive reconstruction scheme is estimated at £190,000.

Members of the committee are also being warned that within ‘the next few years’ the St Edmund Street elevation of the Guildhall is expected to require £100,000 of repairs.