PLANS to restore Hurst Grange Park coach house in Penwortham have been boosted by Lottery Heritage Fund backing.
South Ribble Council has been told its bid for funding has been accepted. Working with local campaigners, the aim is to restore the historic building and create a visitor and heritage centre.
The Heritage Lottery fund has shown its support with an initial award of £12,500 to help the council and local ‘Friends Group’ develop their plans further.
That will enable them to apply for a full National Lottery grant later this year. The development phase will cost £47,500 in total. The local authority is contributing £30,000 towards the project.
If successful it will allow regular public access to the building for the first time. Plans include a visitor centre providing information about the area’s history and wildlife, an event space, public toilets and space for a small café.
The Friends Group’s fundraising efforts, which have included ‘Buy a Brick’ campaigns, sales of ‘A History of Hurst Grange Park’ book and attendance at park events, have raised more than £15,000 towards the delivery stage of the project.
Hurst Grange was created as the estate of a Lancashire judge who built the large house and laid out the landscaped parkland in 1850.
The estate became a public park in 1938 and although the Grange was demolished at this time, the Coach House and Gate Lodge were retained. .
Caroline Moon, South Ribble deputy leader and cabinet member for neighbourhoods and streetscene, said: “It is great news that funding has been awarded for the first stage of the Hurst Grange Park restoration bid following all the effort put in by the Friends Group and council officers.
“It will be good to see the development of a visitor centre and improved facilities at Hurst Grange Park if the second stage bid is successful.”