2016 AGM to be held in Bridport Town Hall, 6pm Monday 10 October

This year’s Bridport Area Development Trust AGM will be held in the Town Hall, Bridport on Monday 10 October 2016 at 18.00 for 18.30.

Light refreshments will be provided before the Meeting which will include a presentation of the latest restoration plan for the Literary and Scientific Institute building at 51 East Street to be completed in Autumn 2017.

LSI work begins

After more than 6 years of planning, Bridport Area Development Trust is about to start work on the restoration of the Literary and Scientific Institute building in East Street.  The Grade 2* listed building in East Street has been empty since 1997 and is currently on the national At Risk register.

A £2m building contract has been awarded to RG Spiller of Chard after a formal tendering process and the Trust is scheduled to grant possession of the site to the contractor on the 22nd August. It is estimated that the restoration work will span a year with the LSI building complete and ready for business in the Autumn of 2017.

Mike Carter, Chair of the LSI working group said “Access to the building to carry out the refurbishment is very limited due to the restricted nature of the site.  We have reached an agreement with Highways and the Town Council to close the pavement outside the building and a portion of the local car parking on the South side of the road to allow for a contractor’s compound outside the building and to ensure that two-way traffic is maintained in East Street.  Pedestrian access will remain open to all premises along the street.”

The appointment of the contractor signals the Trust’s success in securing the final funding for the capital phase of restoration work which has been achieved with the help and support of HLF and Historic England who together have underpinned the valued contributions of other Trust organisations and stakeholders.

Whilst the construction work takes place, the Trust will move forward to assemble an operational management committee to run the building.  When reopened the building will include training, meeting and flexible workspace to meet the needs of new and existing small businesses in the area and the local community.  A café will cater for users of the building and be open to the public.

Alongside the building work a programme of activities will explore the history of the building.  Activities Coordinator Crystal Johnson said, “It is incredibly exciting that, at last, this really important building is being saved.  Its purpose has always been to support the growth and prosperity of the town and provide amenity for its residents.  Its new use will reflect its original aims and safeguard it for the people of Bridport in the future.”

“We have developed a programme of events and activities that we hope will help us understand more about the building and celebrate its heritage significance.  We have just appointed an Oral History coordinator to record local memories about the building and would love to hear from anyone who would be willing to share their stories – it might be a small snippet of information or a more detailed recount of something that happened at the building.”

If you have a story to share, would like to get involved or simply join our mailing list for progress updates, please contact Crystal Johnson: crystal@bridportadt.org.uk

A catering opportunity in partnership with Bridport Area Development Trust

BADT is keen to invite expressions of interest from local commercial operators to run a new café/restaurant to be launched in the second quarter of 2017.  This opportunity forms a key part of the Trust’s plans for the restoration and regeneration of a historic landmark in the centre of Bridport.

For more information, please download the brief from here.

Closing date Friday 4 March 2016

Girt Big Barn Dance raises girt big money

The Bridport Area Development Trust issued the following press release today:

A barn dance organised by Creeds Design and Print has raised £1,700 to support the restoration of Bridport Literary and Scientific Institute.

Held at The Tithe Barn by kind permission of Symondsbury Estate, the event was a sell out with over 200 people attending. Dancers enjoyed a light supper with bread and cheese supplied by Leakers Bakery and Ford Farm, and some mouth-watering tray bakes from Jessica’s Farmhouse Cakes, before dancing the night away to local group ‘Up and Running’.



Harry of Creeds Design and Print said, “the evening was fantastic and everyone attending had a great time. We are thrilled that it was such a success and that we were able to raise such a large amount to support the restoration of this important local community building.”

Crystal Johnson, Activities Coordinator for the LSI project said, “we are enormously grateful to Creeds for organising this event which will makes a big contribution towards our current fundraising target. It is this kind of support that will really help in our last push to raise all the funds necessary to bring the LSI back into use and save it as a community building for the future”.

The majority of the £2.6m needed to restore the LSI has already been secured, with major grants received from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England and various other bodies. The project has about £125k left to raise. It was recently awarded £10k from the Wolfson Foundation and further fundraising will continue throughout 2016. It is anticipated that work will begin on site after Easter this year, with a view to reopening the building in early Summer 2017.

If you would like to be kept informed about the project and future developments please contact Crystal Johnson to join the mailing list: crystal@bridportadt.org.uk

If you would like to make a donation to the project please visit: www.bridportadt.org.uk/donate