THE historic nature of Kendal Town Hall will be retained following the £4.5million revamp, South Lakes District Council have insisted.

Kendal Civic Society said after studying the ambitious plan unveiled by SLDC last month, they were able to give the proposals a cautious welcome but did have a number of concerns including the fate of the wood panelling and the ornate fireplace in the Council Chamber.

The revamp, which is intended to make better use of the chambers and make them more attractive for outside bodies to hire, centres around an extensive internal modernisation, which raised fears the more traditional aspects of the building may be threatened.

The Civic Society raised particular concerns about the fine wood panelling, but a council spokesman said this would be retained throughout the building, though he pointed out the panelling will be lightened in some areas.

The fireplace, which features intricate carvings by Arthur Simpson, will also be retained, as will the various paintings, prints, clocks and ornaments which are currently sited around the Town Hall.

The spokesman conceded that some of these objects may have to be repositioned in other council buildings, but it was planned that all such objects would remain on show and would not be placed into storage.