Plans to transform the ground floor of Bideford’s town hall into a work hub look set to be scrapped.

Torridge District Council had earmarked the abandoned reception rooms on the ground floor of the Town Hall for a new space for start-up businesses and those looking for flexible office space to 'hot-desk'.

The scheme was unanimously supported with £45,000 at a full council meeting in April, and was awarded more than £17,000 from Devon Work Hubs to bring the project to life.

However, with escalating costs and concerns over the quality of the provision, a new report to the council's community and resources committee has recommended the town hall scheme is scrapped in favour of an alternative site.

The committee will discuss the report and its recommendations when its meets on Tuesday, August 20.

The report to the committee said: "The Bideford Work Hub has the potential to be beneficial to the micro business scene within Torridge through the provision of cheap, flexible working space.

"Yet beyond those micro businesses who will look to utilise the space itself on a day to day basis, the hub can provide an in-town venue for events, networking and to dynamise the local business community.

"However, It has become apparent that the Town Hall rooms are not the correct, long-term site for the work hub.

"The provision will be adequate but not necessarily of the highest quality. There are a number of points which create significant concerns of reputational damage and that the finances would not be well spent.

"The concept of a work hub in Bideford is still one with significant potential benefits to the business community of Torridge.

"Additional investigations should be conducted to find a site which has the potential to generate sufficient returns to warrant an on-site manager who would be able to effectively deal with issues and also inter-connect businesses in order to increase the impact of the hub."

The report said initial proposals at the time of seeking grant funding focused on a 'quick and easy' turnaround to refresh the town hall.

Plans for the work hub had received a very positive reaction on social media.

It was intended to be run remotely, with no on-site personnel to oversee the workspace. However, this became a concern after consultation with other hubs, including the Barnstaple Work Hub.

Further concerns over the electrical infrastructure, the suitability of the lighting and a lack of communal space forced a rethink.