Councillors propose Wembley’s Civic Centre as ‘ideal’ venue for Asian and Jewish weddings
PUBLISHED: 15:34 20 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:27 20 January 2016
Wembley’s Town Hall could transform into a glamorous wedding venue for Asian and Jewish couples to boost the council’s fortunes, it has been proposed.
Members of Brent Council’s budget scrutiny panel suggested the Great Hall at the Civic Centre, in Engineers Way, is the ideal venue for hosting lavish receptions for up to 750 people, and should be put to better use as part of the council’s income generation programme.
Asian and Jewish weddings were singled out in the document because the Old Brent Town Hall in Forty Lane, Wembley, used to be a popular wedding venue for these communities, scrutiny panel chairman Cllr Matthew Kelcher said.
The £90million Brent Civic Centre opened in 2013 and features a dedicated conference and function centre, including banqueting facilities and a tree-lined “winter garden”.
A report submitted to the council’s budget scrutiny committee states: “We feel that the council should have a clear goal of increasing the proportion of Civic Centre weddings that afterwards use the facilities for receptions. It was suggested that in particular the size and location of the Grand Hall room would be ideal for large Asian and Jewish weddings.”
The committee is tasked with identifying areas where the council could save or invest money in order to soften the blow of incoming cuts to central government funding.
The council has responded by ramping up efforts to market the Grand Hall – also known as the “Drum” – with glossy brochures offering a 10-hour wedding banquet package starting at £6,900.
It is being branded as “Wembley’s ultimate wedding venue”. The council has also employed dedicated wedding and events planners to cater to large-scale events featuring thrones, banqueting tables, LED light shows and customized decor.
Cllr Kelcher said: “When we were reviewing the budget it was mentioned that the old town hall was popular with Jewish, Asian and Arab families and had built up a good reputation for weddings so we put it forward as an idea for the conference facilities in the new centre.”
But the Kensal Green councillor warned that against a backdrop of 70 per cent of cuts to funding for council services by 2018, an increase in couples celebrating their nuptials in the town hall was “not going to be a panacea”.
He added: “There will have to be cuts elsewhere.”
A wedding open day takes place at the centre on Saturday, March 12.
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