RESTORATION of an historic Bodmin building could cost nearly £1-million.  

The grade II listed Shire House, which was formerly a judge’s lodging before entering the ownership of Bodmin Town Council, is in need of refurbishment and upgrading.  

At a meeting of the town council estates committee, councillors were given a presentation by Ward Williams Associates on the work required to bring the Shire House, constructed in around 1840, and the adjoining Shire House Suite, built in 1985, up to standard.  

Former mayor Cllr Andy Coppin said: “The upper estimate for the work is nearly £1-million, which is a lot of public money for an old building. My heart says to go for it, but my head questions whether it is too much of a cost to bear.” 

Another former mayor Cllr Jeremy Cooper asked his fellow councillors to be bold in their decision making, saying that the £1-million work would be an investment in the town’s future.  

He said: “Have we considered doing for the Shire House what a previous town council did when it saved the Shire Hall from potentially being ruined? 

“We could get a long-term loan from the Public Works Loan Board  which is what the council did for the Shire Hall. We’ve almost finishing repaying that and look at the success the building has been for the town.”

Most committee members supported moving forward on the Shire House refurbishment.