One of Lancashire’s most historic buildings could be opened to the public thanks to a £50,000 restoration grant.
Bank Hall, in Bretherton, near Preston, is a Grade II listed building, which was built in 1608.
But the Jacobean mansion has suffered from years of neglect and vandalism and deteriorated to a poor reflection of its former glory.
The grant, awarded by not-for-profit company WREN, is part of a national Heritage Fund which helps to protect listed buildings and structures of historical importance across the UK.
It will go towards restoration work in the entrance hall and tower areas at the front of the house to allow public access.
Bank Hall’s John Miller, chief executive of Heritage Trust for the North West, said: “The grant from WREN is vital in bridging the funding gap to enable us to finish the £4m repair work that Bank Hall urgently requires.
“Practically every conservation group in the land is supporting this project and, with more than 5,000 visitors a year, it also means a lot to the public. This project is a testament to all the hard work of the Bank Hall Action Group who have campaigned to save this building for 16 years.”
WREN awards grants to community, conservation and heritage projects within a 10-mile radius of landfill sites, from funds donated by FCC Environment to the Landfill Communities Fund.
Peter Cox, managing director of WREN, said: “We’re delighted to support the restoration of Bank Hall and look forward to seeing this project progress.
“At WREN we are dedicated to making a real difference to people’s lives by awarding grants to community, environmental and heritage projects across the UK.
“It is so important to protect significant historical sites such as this to ensure it can be appreciated by future generations.”
Bank Hall is one of 19 projects awarded £835,000 in total from WREN’s Heritage Fund scheme this year.
Projects which could benefit from the fund must be highlighted to WREN by four of its partner organisations: English Heritage, Historic Scotland, Cadw (Wales) or the National Churches Trust.
Linda Calvert, business officer at English Heritage North West, said: “WREN’s dedicated Heritage Fund is vital in helping to sustain and transform England’s rich and varied history.
“As such, we’re delighted to be able to put forward projects such as Bank Hall for the funding, and look forward to seeing the investment create a lasting impact on both the site and people who use it.”
Since the Heritage Fund launched in 2010, WREN has awarded 52 projects over £2.4m.
For more details about the fund, or to find out if your project could be eligible for a grant, call special projects manager Peter Moralee on 01379 687 226.