LYTHAM Hall is celebrating after its future was secured thanks to a massive £2.4m lottery grant.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced today it would inject the millions into the Grade One listed building to help make its restoration project a reality.
The news marks a triumph for the Save Lytham Hall Campaign which was launched last year by Hall bosses keen to see the “hidden gem” turned into a major visitor attraction.
It means work can now begin to restore the much-loved Georgian Hall to its former glory.
And those behind the project – including Hall owners Lytham Town Trust – have today said a public thank-you to the local residents who dug deep and helped secure the lottery cash.
Town trust chairman David Gill said: “We’ve had tremendous support from the local community and without that support I don’t think we would have had such a good chance of success.
“HLF were very impressed by the strength of local partnerships and local community support and we’re absolutely delighted with the award.
“What this money will do is help Lytham Hall become a leading visitor attraction in addition to preserving something valuable for the local community.”
And Alan Turner, who ran the appeal on behalf of the town trust, said: “It’s going to be the most wonderful thing that’s happened to this area in a long time.
“It’s a matter of saying thank you for the massive contribution by the people of the area who have given so much of their time and made very generous donations in a very difficult economic climate.”
Lytham Town Trust took over the Hall from Guardian 15 years ago, and for the last 10 years it has been leased to Heritage Trust for the North West (HTNW).
Bosses there have been instrumental in developing the lottery bid, which includes ambitious plans to create holiday apartments and completely restore the interior for visitors.
Mr Gill added: “HTNW director John Miller has been leading the bidding process and he and his team worked extremely hard to put together a really credible, sustainable application to the HLF.”
The grounds of the hall have already been opened up as a country park and part of the grant will be used to undertake major conservation work to recreate the 19th century landscape and open up views from the Hall.
There will also be a new programme of activities including guided tours of the Hall and gardens, exhibitions and workshop.
Fylde Council backed the bid with £300,000 and leisure and culture cabinet member Coun Sue Fazackerely said: “It’s wonderful news.
“It’s brilliant for the area and now it will be made available to a far wider audience than previously.”
Sara Hilton, Head of HLF North West, added: “Lytham Hall is a wonderful heritage treasure, and with our support HTNW can begin important conservation and restoration work to ensure that the hall and surrounding parklands can be enjoyed for many generations to come.”
The appeal needed to raise £3m match funded to obtain the grant and fundraising to reach that total is continuing.