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Bridgford Hall renovations

2016 is an exciting year for Bridgford Hall, the Grade II listed Georgian building in Bridgford Park.

Bridgford Hall in Bridgford Park, West Bridgford is currently undergoing a £2.4 million pound refurbishment. The hall has been owned by Rushcliffe Borough Council since 1923 and has been occupied by a series of tenants before falling vacant in 2014.

Once complete in Summer 2017, the ground floor of the building will once again house Nottinghamshire County Council’s popular wedding and registration service, whilst the first and second floors will be converted to seven apartments.

Over £1.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Enterprise Scheme has been secured to enable the renovations, an additional £800,000 from the Borough Council. The grant is the first awarded in Nottingham under HLF’s Heritage Enterprise programme which is designed to help when the cost of repairing an historic building is so high that restoration is not economically viable. Grants fund the vital repairs and conservation work needed to convert derelict, vacant buildings into new, usable commercial spaces.

Through the building work there will be activities taking place for local residents to get involved in including:

  • Hard hat tours

  • Work placements

  • Heritage conservation workshops

  • Reminiscence sessions

  • Schools workshops

  • Theatrical performance

Dates for your diary -

Hard Hat Tours

During the redevelopment there will be opportunities to tour the hall and see work underway on site. We held our first day of hard hat tours on 10 March 2016 with over 30 people in attendance - The West Bridgford Wire joined us and this is what they said about it. We'll be running more tours in September 2016 so watch this space to book your place nearer the time

Listed Buildings Owners event

In the Autumn we'll be inviting owners of listed buildings to meet the project team behind the Bridgford Hall redevelopment and learn more about the ways in which schemes such as the HLF Enterprise Programme may be able to help them. If you own or operate a listed commercial building and would like to register your interest please email communitydevelopment@rushcliffe.gov.uk for details

Library Talk

On Tuesday 31 May at 2.30pm local historian Peter Hammond will be leading a talk about the hidden history of Bridgford Hall at West Bridgford Library. Booking is required. For more details telephone 0115 9816506

The design of Bridgford Hall

Bridgford Hall was built between 1768 and 1771. Its original appearance consisted of the projecting central five-bay wide and 3-storey high brick building. Its original architect is not known (see below) but is a typical building of the period. The southwest wing (that lying left of the main block) is a later addition (a date of 1886 is recorded on a drainpipe) as is that wing lying on the right, which was originally built as a Billiards Room probably by the Heymann family in the mid-19th century. The lower two storey buildings to the left of the hall are the stable ranges and other outbuildings dating to the later 19th century.

Constructed of brick, the foundations rest on solid bedrock which in places also form the floor to the cellars. The brickwork is largely plain apart from the billiards room extension where there is a greater use of decorative features, particularly towards the top beneath the parapet.

The interior is much more elaborate with finely detailed plaster ceilings, decorative cornices and the principal staircase that has many of its original 18th century balusters.

Much of the interior details are hidden by partition walls placed within the hall when it was in use by the council, thus losing some of the original proportions of the historic layout.

Bridgford Hall was listed as a building of special architectural or historic interest in 1949. This makes it one of the earliest Listed Buildings in the country.

The Park and garden

The surrounding park and gardens are the remainder of the 19 acres of land Albert Heymann bought along with the hall in 1883. Its present appearance is somewhat municipal in character and was laid out in this fashion quite recently. The open park areas to the northwest and southeast retain some of the character that the Musters and Heymann families would recognise, though this was largely replaced when, after the Second World War, tennis courts and bowling greens were laid out close to the hall.

The Architect

At the time Bridgford Hall was being constructed, the Musters family was employing the famous York architect, John Carr, at Colwick. John Carr undertook a number of commissions in Nottinghamshire including Welbeck Abbey, Thoresby Hall, Blyth Hall, Clifton Hall and Langford Hall as well as the now-demolished Nottingham racecourse grandstand (near The Forest) and Nottingham Assembly Rooms. The style of Carr’s work would suggest that Bridgford Hall was not one of his designs.

Though we may never know for sure, we are certain that Carr employed a local builder, Samuel Stretton of Lenton, to undertake the work at Colwick. His work at Colwick meant he was likely to have been introduced to the Musters family. His work can be seen at Wilford House, 1½ miles to the south-west, where some similarities to Bridgford Hall can be seen.

Bridgford Hall - Communication Exercise - Results

Following a report to Cabinet in December 2012, a communication exercise took place between 11–24 February 2013 to gauge the views of residents, park and town centre users and other interested bodies, and to explain the reasons why the Council is looking to secure a tenant to protect the future use of Bridgford Hall.

Information was posted on our website about the consultation on 11 February including a link to an electronic survey. Face-to-face street surveys took place throughout the consultation period, which incorporated the half-term holiday for Nottinghamshire schools

A press release received coverage in the Evening Post on 18 February and letters were sent to local residents’ groups.

In total there were 440 responses; 264 people completed the survey face to face in West Bridgford or at the Rushcliffe Community Contact Centre, 11 surveys were received through the post and 163 online via our website. 2 letters/emails were received from interested parties. The results represent all of the views submitted.

Results

Q1. Which of the following uses do you think is suitable for Bridgford Hall?

440 people responded – a number of respondents selected multiple options

A small hotel

160

36%

Restaurant

151

34%

Wedding ceremony venue

342

78%

An arts and craft centre

109

25%

A building with units for start-up businesses

71

16%

A summary of suggestions for other uses, a number of residents made multiple suggestions:

A combination of a hotel, restaurant and wedding/conference venue

53

Museum, gallery, exhibition, concert space, arts and crafts

17

Child friendly play, activity, education centre

14

A Spa

3

Offices or/and Residential Flats

9

Café or Tea Rooms

7

Shopping Arcade/ Venue for Local Suppliers

5

Community building with a variety of uses

8

Sell the building but ensure it is protected

2

Martial Arts Centre

1

NHS walk-in centre

1

Any use – rule nothing out at this stage

4

Q2. The Hall is currently used for wedding ceremonies; do you think it is important to continue this use in the Hall if we can find a suitable tenant for the rest of the building?

440 people responded.

Yes

365

83%

No

24

5%

If it doesn’t affect the prospect of a tenant

38

9%

Not bothered

13

2%

Q3. Which of the following factors do you think it is important we bear in mind when deciding on the future use of the Hall?

440 people responded – a number of respondents selected multiple options

The effect on local car parking

164

37%

Managed by a local business

91

21%

Use by a community group/groups

115

26%

Maintaining the external appearance of the building

276

62%

Benefit the local community

312

71%

Benefit the local economy

227

52%

Minimise the cost to the Rushcliffe tax payer

160

36%

Q4.  Information about you:

439 people responded

Live in Rushcliffe

331

75%

Work in Rushcliffe

52

12%

Live and work outside of Rushcliffe

47

11%

Local business

9

2%

Q5. Your age:

436 people responded

Working age

337

77%

Retired

96

22%

Under 18/ In education

3

1%

Q6. Gender:

436 people responded

Male

162

37%

Female

274

63%

Q7. If you have any more suggestions please let us know here:

There were various responses, some of which were contradictory.

Some residents were concerned that the listed building status would affect the building’s future use and felt the Council should be flexible in its approach to the building, even demolishing parts of it. Some residents wanted to protect the front of the hall and keep it to a similar size footprint. A suggestion was made to sell the building to fund other capital projects.

Parking was raised both as a suggestion that parking should be provided specifically for the use of the Hall, and as a concern that no further parking should be created that might impinge on the park.

Some residents wanted to restrict access to the park out of hours to prevent antisocial behaviour.

Some residents said that the future use of the Hall needs to be sympathetic to the park, and fit in with the surrounding. Access to the park should not be restricted.

The accessibility of the building was raised by several residents as a concern. Providing additional outdoor seating was raised as a suggestion as was to provide no outdoor seating.

Several people said that the building needs to pay for itself and generate maximum income, be economically viable and provide value for money. A few residents wanted to keep out national chains.

It should be noted that these comments are not necessarily representative of survey participants.

Ownership of the Hall

In addition, some questions have continually been raised about the ownership and covenants of the Hall, Lodge and Park. The following information is provided for clarification.

Bridgford Park (including The Hall) was sold by Albert Heymann to West Bridgford Urban District Council on 4 May 1923. No covenants were included in that conveyance except for one, to observe covenants in an 1891 conveyance of part of this land from Denis Le Marchant and others to Albert Heymann.

The 1891 covenants stipulated that no buildings other than private dwelling houses of a certain minimum value could be erected on the part of the former estate that corresponds to what is now commonly known as The Croquet Lawn.

The Hall is Grade 2 listed, however the Lodge is not. The Lodge sits within the curtilage of the listed building and as such any future proposals for the Lodge would need to take that into consideration.

Next steps

Following the report to Cabinet in December 2012, a formal marketing process has been carried out to receive expressions of interest for leasing the Hall. A brief will be sent out to shortlisted parties to work up detailed bids for the Hall and this process will take place over the next few weeks after which recommendations will be made. The Council is not bound to appoint any of the bidders.

Bridgford Hall marketing documents

Contact details are available in the marketing brochure.

The deadline for submissions is 22 February 2013.

Floor plans for the properties

The information contained within the brochure and on this web page have been produced in good faith, are intended as a general guide only and do not constitute or form any part of an offer or contract and nothing in the marketing information can imply any commitment by the Council to sell this property.

Indicative Marketing Timeline for Bridgford Hall and Park Lodge

TaskStart dateEnd Date
Marketing 14 January 2013 22 February 2013
Expressions of Interest deadline - 22 February 2013
Public Consultation 11 February 2013 24 February 2013
Analysis of Expressions of Interest and Public Consultation 25 February 2013 01 March 2013
Shortlisting of Expressions of Interest & notification 25 February 2013 01 March 2013
Preparation of detailed Offer by shortlisted parties 01 March 2013 26 April 2013
Submission of Offer by shortlisted parties - 26 April 2013
Interviews with shortlisted parties 29 April 2013 03 May 2013
Report to Cabinet - 14 May 2013
Appointment of developer 27 May 2013 31 May 2013
Legals/contract 03 June 2013 19 July 2013
Application for planning permission tbc tbc
Construction period tbc tbc

Please note: dates are subject to change and are not final.



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