Rushcliffe is over the moon to receive confirmation that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the Council £1.5m to secure the long term future of the much-loved Grade II listed Bridgford Hall. Located in Bridgford Park, West Bridgford, the building’s renovation will also be made possible thanks to £800,000 from the Borough Council.
Cllr Neil Clarke, Leader of the Council, said: “Many people have grown up, got married and used this building at very important times of their lives. It’s fantastic news that it will remain prominent on our street scene. The public will be invited into the building as it is restored in two separate ‘hard hat’ tours in 2016. We are also working closely with the Friends of Bridgford Park and the local history society to raise awareness of the building’s past.”
The Georgian Hall was in a state of disrepair and this funding will mean the infrastructure will have a major overhaul, while the street view is sympathetically restored. Work will start in early 2016 and should be finished in around a year.
Following restoration, the ground floor of the building will be home once again to the County Council’s wedding and registration service. The major improvements will involve creating an aparthotel, which will be operated by Birchover Residences Limited.
Carl Bridge, Director of Birchover, said: “Following an introduction from David Ajose at Exeid, we first became aware of the redevelopment of Bridgford Hall. We are delighted to be part of the restoration work in the creation of seven high quality serviced apartments, which will be eminently suitable for short term stays especially when people visit friends and relatives getting married. West Bridgford is also home to many world renowned sporting venues – these apartments will again be perfect resting places for major tournaments that come to Rushcliffe.”
The grant is the first awarded in Nottingham under HLF’s Heritage Enterprise programme which is designed to help when the cost of repairing an historic building is so high that restoration is not economically viable. Grants fund the vital repairs and conservation work needed to convert derelict, vacant buildings into new, usable commercial spaces. HLF backed initial plans for the project in December 2014 and have now confirmed the grant following a successful second-round application.
Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “Bridgford Hall is a historic building that is very close to people’s hearts. A focal point of the local area, bringing it back into use can help drive economic growth. That’s why we are stepping in with our Heritage Enterprise programme, helping to cover the high costs of restoration in order to give it a sustainable future.”
Cllr Simon Robinson, Cabinet member for finance and economy, said: “Over the past few years we looked at a number of options to ensure the long term future of the Hall. I am confident that this improvement is the best way forward both for the Hall and the local area. It will help support the thriving town centre and add another top quality place to stay.”