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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Workington Hall on track for reopening to public by Christmas

Plans to reopen Workington Hall to the public in time for Christmas are on track, the town’s heritage group has pledged.

Workington Hall photo
Workington Hall

The grade one listed hall, parts of which are medieval, fell into disrepair in the 1970s and has been out of bounds for nearly a decade because of safety fears.

But Workington Heritage Group hopes the hall, which has been added to the English Heritage at-risk register, will be made safe enough to be reopened as a ruin in time for a festive opening.

Helen Fowler, of the group, said: “We hope to be open by Christmas with some kind of event like a fair.”

Following a public consultation, the group has compiled a client brief which outlines its long-term vision for the future of the hall and its grounds.

Brian Hemming, who presented the document yesterday, said: “This allows us to take forward proposals for the development of the hall in consultation with our community partners, including Allerdale council.”

The brief found that there was a “strong ambition” for the whole property and grounds to be transferred into a building preservation trust.

Among the ideas on the table for the site are a business centre and a masonry college.

The group will also look at how to develop its links with Mary Queen of Scots, who spent her last night of freedom there.

However, members cannot take their plans to the next stage until Allerdale council has completed a condition survey.

It is understood that this work has started, although Charles Holmes, Allerdale council’s head of regeneration, was unable to confirm when the results would be known.

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