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King’s Hall viewings held as sale comes under fire

By Jack Dyson

Potential buyers have viewed the King’s Hall as the viability of a sale continues to be tested.

The popular entertainment venue has been owned by Canterbury City Council for more than 100 years, but could be sold off as it continues to run at a loss.

An advert appeared on a London property consultant’s website before Christmas offering the building for sale or rent and suggests the possibility of redevelopment.

The King's Hall has been owned by the council for more than 100 years

The viewings held on Wednesday (January 10) have been criticised by Doreen Stone, the chair of the Herne Bay Pier Trust.

“It seems improper to hold the viewings if it is not for sale,” she said.

“It should have been advertised in the Kent listings to also interest locals.”

Ms Stone wants the King’s Hall to be run by the council and the Herne Bay Conservation Trust, which operates under the umbrella of the pier trust.

“They’ve done it with the museum and elsewhere, so they can do it here,” she said.

Doreen Stone, chair of the pier trust, said it was "improper" for the viewings to be held

“The council wants to make a saving of £50,000 a year, which we could help them do.”

The city council is currently considering running the King’s Hall in partnership with a community body, using it as a village hall, closing it or selling it, or renting it for commercial purposes.

Council spokesman Rob Davies said: “Allowing people to view the premises is an essential part of testing the market.

“We have already met with community groups to explore the idea of a community trust or partnership, so people should be reassured that this review is being carried out thoroughly and all options are being properly examined.”

A full report will be sent to the community committee in March for it to choose its preferred option.

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