Café plans for old coach house

The Victorian former coach house in Hurst Grange Park, Penwortham, is in need of repair
The Victorian former coach house in Hurst Grange Park, Penwortham, is in need of repair
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A crumbling old coach house could become a café, if local residents get their way.

The Coach House in Hurst Grange Park, Penwortham, is in urgent need of restoration after standing empty for years.

David Slater, project secretary for the Friends of Hurst Grange Park, said: “At the moment the coach house is in a poor state with no real use for it; it’s deteriorating which could potentially make it unsafe.”

If enough money is raised towards the project, the coach house may be turned into a café or restored so it is suitable for community groups to use for meetings and events.

Surveys have been conducted by the Heritage Lottery Fund to see how Penwortham locals want the use the space - the café was one of the most popular options.

More than 100 residents turned out to two consultations last week to discuss plans for the Victorian building.

Linda Woollard, South Ribble councillor for Broad Oak and a member of the Friends group said: “There were lots of people in attendance at our open days on Sunday and Monday which was great to see. Lots of new people stopped by, not just members of Friends.”

For basic restoration of the coach house, around £100,000 is needed. If £300,000 was raised they could achieve more objectives like building the café and putting in a canopy for outdoor seating for dog walkers. The Heritage Lottery Fund is also contributing towards to restoration of the 1850s house.

Nathan Lee, from the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “The Coach House in Hurst Grange Park has served the community in a number of guises for many years, but has fallen into disrepair. We are delighted to have been able to support the Friends.”

What next?

The next steps for the restoration project is for the Friends of Hurst Grange Park to meet with council officers from South Ribble Council to discuss which scheme they are going to go with.

Once they have a clearer idea of what their plans are, they will put forward their application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Fund has already given support to the consultation, but the Friends will have to submit a fresh application for more funds in order to start the restoration work.