Plymouth’s Register Office could move to a new home as part of a package of improvements designed to give people a better experience during key life events.
The registration service, which every year registers over 4,400 births and deaths, could have a new base in the Council House.
Place and Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will meet this afternoon (September 6) to look at the options being discussed as part of plans to modernise this vital service as well as enable the service to vacate their current premises in Lockyer Street.
Under the proposals, rooms within the Council House could be transformed into a venue for more intimate weddings and other ceremonies.
There could also be offices to register births and deaths. Citizenship ceremonies and marriages are already performed in the Reception Room of the Council House and the council offers wedding venues in a number of other buildings across the city, including at the Guildhall.
A programme of changes has been designed to make it easier for people to access the service. Registration saff are now based cated at the Coroner’s Office in Derriford and people can now visit to register deaths there, we also plan to trial offering registration in some libraries.
Councillor Glenn Jordan, Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Transformation said: “We’ve looked at the service from every angle and at how we can make it better for people to use it at critical moments in their lives.
“Last year we had 471 civil weddings at the Register Office and we recognise that it’s really important to keep opportunities for civil wedding services ceremonies close to the Hoe and the city centre. We wanted somewhere which has the gravitas needed to host these services, which is why the Council House is ideal.”
The committee will not make a decision but will discuss the recommendation which says that the proposed relocation of the Register Office offers the ‘best utilisation of existing Plymouth City Council assets, provides improved access for customers and allows best use of the Lockyer Street site for the city.’
As part of the Joint Local Plan, the Council decided that the site would offer a great redevelopment opportunity. A draft site planning statement has been prepared and options could include a hotel although a market and financial feasibility study is being recommended to look at this in more detail.