Wedding venue to the stars signed over to London Business School for �50million refurbishment
A civil partnership of a very different kind has been agreed for one of London’s most prestigious wedding venues - Old Marylebone Town Hall.
Westminster Council has agreed to lease the Grade-II listed building in Marylebone Road, Marylebone, and its annexe to the London Business School.
The deal was finalised on Friday at the famous central London Register Office, which has seen stars from Hollywood actors to former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr tie the knot.
Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher married both his wives there, while Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour, actors John Hurt and Terence Stamp, former footballers John Fashanu and Paul Merson and TV presenter Claudia Winkleman all exchanged vows there.
But it means the auspicious venue will not host weddings and civil partnerships for the next three years.
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It will be closed while the London Business School spends more than �50million restorating the building to its former glory, whilst creating a modern learning environment within.
It will become part of the school’s Regent’s Park campus, and when it reopens in 2016 will again be used for ceremonial and community functions, including council meetings.
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Work on the original building, designed by Sir Edwin Cooper, began almost a century ago in 1914, and it opened in 1920. The art deco annexe was opened in the late 1930s, and the building was listed in 1981.
Cllr Jonathan Glanz, Westminster Council’s cabinet member for housing and property, said: “In tough economic times, it is more important than ever for councils to make best use of their property assets.
“This agreement will not only generate an income for the council, but it will also see the multi-million pound restoration of the famous building.”
Professor Sir Andrew Likierman, dean of the London Business School, said: “The acquisition of Old Marylebone Town Hall gives us a terrific opportunity to enhance the campus experience for our students and to provide for future expansion.
“Our intention is to transform the magnificent town hall into a world-class teaching facility whilst being sensitive to the original architectural design of the landmark building.
“In addition to a 200-seat and several 100-seat lecture theatres with associated seminar rooms, it is planned to include study, social and dining facilities as well as more offices. It will become an integral part of the school’s Regent’s Park campus.”
The school is expected to submit a planning application for the renovation works before the end of the year.