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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Workington Hall lights may be permanent fixture by Christmas

Workington Hall has come under the spotlight with a series of coloured lights beamed onto the walls.

Workington Hall photo
Lighting trials at Workington Hall

The hall’s heritage group – set up to try to breathe new life into the 14th century ruin – has enlisted the help of a specialist lighting business to light up the front facade.

They carried out a series of trials, which saw the hall turn white, red, green, yellow and blue, and hope it could become a permanent fixture by Christmas.

Mark Jenkinson, director of the heritage group, said it was “fantastic”.

“It is wonderful to see it lit,” he said. “Seeing it lit permanently would bring the hall back into focus, and show Workington that we are serious about the future of the hall.”

Group member Tony Wareing said: “It’s a fantastic move forward as far as we are concerned. It was fantastic to see the change in the place from that dilapidated ruin to something beautiful when lit up at night.

“It would be a centrepiece of the town and it would be great to see it lit up permanently.”

They hope to light the hall at Christmas.

The lights would cost £7,600 plus another £1,200 on cables, lifts and concrete plinths.

The group received £5,500 towards the project from county councillor Joe Holliday.

Lighting business Pulsar, from Cambridge, has been involved in high-profile projects all over the world and collaborated on lighting up the outside of London’s Madame Tussauds waxworks museum. It has also illuminated the Ada Bridge in Serbia and the 12th century ruins of Castle Valkenburg in the Netherlands.

Workington Hall was put on English Heritage’s at risk register late last year, sparking hopes that its future could be turned around after decades of neglect.

It has been closed to the public for more than a decade due to health and safety concerns.

Workington Heritage Group and Workington Hall Action Group joined forces to revive the fortunes of the building with ideas including a hotel, a conference centre, a cafe, a museum and a masonry college.

Members cannot take their plans to the next stage until Allerdale council has completed a ‘stone by stone’ survey. Results are due soon.

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