Answers sought over Hall accounts

Lytham Hall

Lytham Hall

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Lytham Town Trust is still seeking answers following the withdrawal of a £1.7m Heritage Lottery Fund grant to help fund renovation work at Lytham Hall.

The grant withdrawal has meant a major setback to work on the Grade One Hall and parkland by the Heritage Trust for the North West (HTNW), which for the past 20 years has been responsible for the day-to-day running and the restoration of the Hall under a 99-year lease agreement.

A month on from the withdrawal announcement, the Town Trust, which owns the Hall, says it is still waiting for HTNW to release the full details of the “significant risks” identified by the HLF which meant the revised bid was not supportable.

Town Trust chairman David Gill said: “It is essential that we understand what the significant risks identified by the HLF are so that we can plan a way forward.

“We are aware that HTNW has received a report about the governance and management risks and, despite making a request to their chief executive John Miller, we have still not been provided with a copy of this report.

“Without an understanding of these risks, and what needs to be done to resolve them, we cannot even begin to consider supporting a further grant application to the 
HLF or any other funding body.”

Following the withdrawal of the Lottery funding, essential work to the exterior and interior of the Grade One-listed Georgian mansion which was originally due to begin in 2015 and be completed by December 2017, will now be postponed even further.

In the meantime, HTNW says its employees and many volunteers at the Hall are continuing to work hard to ensure it is business as usual.