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Repair bill for Scarisbrick Hall could top £2.5m

AN action plan is being formed to investigate ways of repairing one of West Lancashire's most stunning landmarks.

Scarisbrick Hall PHOTO BY JIM BUTLER
Scarisbrick Hall PHOTO BY JIM BUTLER

AN action plan is being formed to investigate ways of repairing one of West Lancashire's most stunning landmarks.

Council officers from West Lancs District Council heard how the bill to fix Grade 1 listed Scarisbrick Hall, currently home to prestigious local school Kingswood College, now runs to almost £2.5million.

They are currently working with the landmark’s owners (Tothill Limited) and school governors to find ways of bringing it back to its former glory.

The hall was transformed by legendary 19th century English architect, Augustus Pugin, best remembered as leader of the Gothic revival movement in architecture and for his work on the Houses of Parliament.

It is one of only two non-religious Grade 1 isted buildings in the district.

Discussions are now taking place about how repairs to the Great Hall, tower, north wing and kitchen can be funded.

Roof level repairs are estimated at £1.22m of the £2.46m total. In March 2003, a conservation plan identified repairs totalling £1.19m as “very urgent works."

A West Lancs spokesman said: “The council has a key role to play in working with the owners to find a solution to secure its repair and its long-term future.

“We will continue our dialogue with the owners and we are hopeful that these discussions will produce a positive outcome in respect of this issue.”

Kingswood College hopes discussions will lead to good news for the school. Chair of governors, Lynda Headley, said: “I am aware that a discussion on a programme of works and repairs has taken place between the owners of the Hall and the council and this is good news for the Trust.

“We are very happy with the current situation and look forward to this exciting time in the future of the hall and the school.”

Governors celebrated their first anniversary of taking over the running of Kingswood College earlier this month.

They say they are delighted at how well their first 12 months have gone, and are now tackling the job of working to restore the hall’s historic features.

In a report to councillors, West Lancs council executive manager of planning and development services, Stephen Byron, said: “For the last 40 years the building has been used as an independent school.

“The current problems being encountered with the hall are not due to systematic neglect but from a long period of under investment in the fabric of the building."