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Hurst Grange Coach House restoration project faces final funding hurdle

Posted on - 13th June, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Penwortham, Preston News, Redevelopment
The coach house in Hurst Grange Park dates to the 1850s
The coach house in Hurst Grange Park dates to the 1850s

South Ribble Borough Council is set to decide the fate of the Hurst Grange Coach House restoration project at an upcoming meeting.

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Should the Council award funding, it will mean the Penwortham project can go ahead, after a Heritage Lottery Fund award of £513,100 in March.

Since finding out about the award, members of the Friends of Hurst Grange Park Coach House Restoration Project have been waiting for the Council’s decision on their contribution, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

South Ribble Borough Council had earmarked £253,525 for the project, with the Friends contributing a further £17,000, raised through various public events.

The restoration would see the Coach House transformed into a heritage-based community facility including meeting rooms, exhibition areas, a cafe and public toilets.

One of the proposals for the former coach house
One of the proposals for the former coach house

The Chairman of the Friends of Hurst Grange Park Coach House Restoration Project, John Fazackerly said: “The restored building will be a tremendous asset for Penwortham, greatly enhancing the amenities of the Park and providing much requested facilities.

“As Friends of the Park we thank the Council for supporting the project and in allocating Officer time to prepare the bid.

“We also wish to pay tribute to the public who have shown support for the project by taking part in the consultation process, attending fundraising events, and also for the help provided by local businesses and organisations with fundraising.

“I fully understand the impact Covid-19 is having on the ability of the Council to deliver its services but this should not affect the Council making a decision. By the Councillors saying yes to releasing the promised funding, Council officers will be able to progress the project as soon as the constraints of the pandemic allow.

“The project had to beat off strong competition to secure the funding. The residents and businesses of Penwortham have given freely of their time and money in helping us get to this stage. That will not be easily forgotten if the Council fails to deliver this project.”

Read more: Maps show areas of Preston and South Ribble most at flood risk as first stage of Ribble defences scheme begins

A spokesperson for the Council said: “The allocation of funding must first be formally approved by the Cabinet at a Cabinet meeting, and by Full Council at a Full Council meeting.

“Covid-19 has meant that many meetings have been suspended whilst we figured out the best way to hold them remotely. Council business is now taking place, but we have a backlog of business to get through.

“A report regarding Hurst Grange Coach House is going to Full Council on Wednesday 22 July at 6pm.”

Read more: New link road between Penwortham and Walton-le-Dale ‘just weeks away’

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Do you live in Penwortham? What do you think of the restoration project? Let us know in teh comments.

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