In 1872 James Clark renewed the call for a Town Hall and asked for subscriptions to fund the building. In 1873 George A Clark left the sum of £20,000 in his will to fund the building of the Town Hall. This was followed with a pledge by the Clark family to fund entirely the cost of the building.
A competition was held to come up with design for the new Town Hall and over 50 designs were submitted. The winning entry was by a local firm of architects, Rennison & Scott, who had a practise in Gilmour Street. However, this design was deemed unsuitable by the Clark family who chose instead the firm of William Henry Lynn of Belfast.