Dirty Nottingham Council House won't be cleaned ahead of 'more pressing matters'

An uncleaned section of The Council House in Old Market Square, Nottingham city centre
-Credit: (Image: Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post)

Nottingham's iconic Council House building is set to remain dirty for the foreseeable future as the city council "attends to more pressing matters". The building in the Old Market Square, opened in 1929 by the then Prince of Wales who later became King Edward VIII, has been in need of a clean-up for a number of years.

Parts of the building's exterior are covered in green algae, plants and pigeon droppings. Ahead of the local elections in May 2023, Nottingham Labour said in its manifesto that it would seek funding for heritage restoration projects, including for the Council House.

Yet just over a year from Labour securing a huge majority in those elections, the party now says cleaning the Council House is not high on its priority list. Councillor Ethan Radford, the council's deputy leader, said in a meeting on Monday (July 8): "Given the extent of the financial challenges this council currently faces while grappling with huge demand pressures on our services, I must admit looking for funding to spruce up the facade of this building is not high up on our list of our priorities.

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"Given our funding pressures, we are only approving essential maintenance works currently. Council officers in all our services are already working at reduced capacity and I would rather they were spending what time they do have looking for external sources of funding that could be put to better use for our residents.

Pigeons roosting on the front of the Council House in Old Market Square, Nottingham city centre
Pigeons roosting on the front of the Council House in Old Market Square, Nottingham city centre -Credit:Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post

"We may have to be content with allowing pigeons to roost in the facade of this building for a little while longer while we attend to more pressing matters." Opposition leader Councillor Kevin Clarke responded by saying: "Given the council's economic growth plan aims to secure four billion pounds of regenerative investment into the city, can I urge the executive member not to take for granted how the appearance of its own assets undermines securing this investment?"

The Grade II* listed Council House was designed by Nottingham architect Thomas Cecil Howitt, whose other work included The Vale pub in Daybrook and the YMCA building on Shakespeare Street. The gold key used by the Prince of Wales to open the doors to the Council House is still displayed on a wall plaque to the left of its grand staircase.