City Council on the move

Meetings of Derry City Council could be held in Magee university while the Guildhall is being refurbished, it has been claimed.

The Guildhall is currently undergoing a major refurbishment scheme which will see it closed to the public while work is carried out inside the building.

At present, councillors meet in the chamber on the ground floor of the Guildhall for their committee and monthly meetings.

However, during the refurbishment process, meetings will have to be held elsewhere with Magee being the most likely venue.

The Guildhall is set to close in December and will not be able for Council meetings for a period of 14 months.

A Council source said this week that, after December, committee meetings could be held in the Council chamber in the Council headquarters at Strand Road while the monthly meeting of Council, which all councillors are required to attend, could be held in Magee.

The closure of the council chamber will also have an impact of civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies, which are also held in the room.

It is likely that a new venue will have to be found for the civil ceremonies but it is not clear if Magee will be used.

The City Registrar’s office, located at the read of the Guildhall, will also close during the refurbishment but Derry City Council have not yet announced where it will relocate to.

The refurbishment process began several months ago with work to the outside of the building ongoing. The iconic Guildhall clock has not been operational for several months because of the work.

The refurbishment is expected to be completed in time for the City of Culture celebrations in 2013.

Council officials are currently discussing how the refurbishment will impact on services.

A spokesperson for Derry City Council said that they are “currently reviewing provision to accommodate services that may be potentially be subject to disruption as a result of on-going work at the Guildhall.