Multi-million pound overhaul of Leyland's Worden Hall takes a step forward

Detailed plans have been unveiled to bring a Leyland landmark “back to life”.

Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 12:30 pm
The conservatory is set to be demolished

South Ribble Borough Council, which owns Worden Park and the Grade-II listed Worden Hall, has tabled a formal planning application for an overhaul of the building in a bid to secure its future as a flexible events space for up to 200 guests, workshop area and a cafe.

The majority of the site is currently vacant and has fallen into disrepair, apart from the Stables which is used as a cafe.

Plans are to sympathetically repair buildings, create a new entrance, strip back “modern detrimental fabric” including a conservatory, and build a modern replacement service block containing new toilets and a lift. After the removal of the conservatory, the plans are to cover the courtyard area with a ‘sailing roof’.

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Much of the Hall has fallen into disrepair and has suffered from vandalism

In February the authority set aside £2.1m to revamp and reopen the building eight years after it was closed to the public.

>>>Read more about the refurbishment and cost here Council leader Councillor Paul Foster said: “It really is the jewel in South Ribble’s crown and we have a duty to look after it properly.

“It’s suffered from 12 years of under-investment and the proposals submitted will bring it fully back to life. I can’t wait for the restoration to be completed and the residents of South Ribble will be truly amazed.

“This investment secures this valuable asset for us all for years to come. At last, some positive news to end a challenging year”.

The proposals also include taking down and rebuilding the boiler house due to a collapsed stone culvert below. By doing this, it is hoped to integrate a ground source heat pump into the scheme.

The proposals have been developed following a public consultation undertaken by the council last year, with feedback showing people favoured the hall being a community venue open to the public.

The proposed material pallet for the new service block draws inspiration from the qualities of the existing materials in terms of tone and texture, but the architect is keen that the new build elements are “expressed using modern materials and building technologies”, therefore zinc and timber cladding, curtain glazing and polished concrete flooring have been chosen.