Keltan House as it looks today. Photograph: Ella Jessel

One of the Town Hall’s main office buildings could be turned into a bar in order to generate revenue for stretched council coffers.

Keltan House, a large 1960s building that stands next to Netil House on the junction of Mare Street and Westgate Street, is currently used for administration purposes.

But now the asset is to be commercially let to generate income for council services “at a time of continued austerity measures”.

Bar and restaurant chain Barworks, which owns a string of venues across east London including the Electricity Showrooms and the Well and Bucket in Shoreditch, has applied to turn the building into an “all day neighbourhood bar restaurant and café concept”.

The venue will focus on local and artisan producers to provide a “unique and versatile space for the locals of Hackney”.


Proposals for the frontage of the building. Photograph: West Architecture

Mike Harrington, Operations Manager at Barworks told the Hackney Citizen: “We’re looking to create a perfect all in one space, where people can work, meet, enjoy great food, drink and events.

“We’re also looking at housing retail units within the venue providing the people of Hackney with a great source for artisan food, coffee, beer and spirits.

“We’re still in the early planning stages but we’re very excited to be working on this project and to bring something truly unique and valuable to the area.”

Keltan House staff will be relocated to other existing Council sites, such as the Hackney Service Centre on Hillman Street and the Town Hall.

A council spokesman said: “Hackney Council has been reviewing the use of its office buildings to help reduce the costs to the local authority at a time of continued austerity measures.

“Keltan House will be let commercially which will generate much needed income for Council services while providing local employment opportunities, via Ways into Work, for Hackney residents.