County Council commits support to Institute Restoration Project (April 2012)

Dorset County Council has expressed emphatic support for the BADT’s project to restore the Literary and Scientific Institute, and backed this with a commitment of £300,000 match funding for the Trust’s forthcoming Heritage Lottery Fund application.

At a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet on 4 April 2012, the following officer recommendations were fully supported:

1.   That Dorset County council continue to support the Bridport Area Development Trust in finding a public and sustainable future for the Literary and Scientific Institute.

2.   That Dorset County Council restore the claim for further hearing before the High Court not before November 2012.

3.   That, subject to a successful outcome for the Bridport Area Development Trust with a Stage 1 Heritage Lottery Fund bid and to the agreement of the High Court, to transfer title of the Literary and Scientific Institute to the Trust.

4.   That £100,000 match funding from the County Council’s special projects budget and £200,000 from the County Council’s capital reserves be offered to the Trust, to be released upon confirmation of a successful Stage 2 Heritage Lottery Fund bid and transfer of title to the Trust.

In a letter to BADT Chair Charles Wild, DCC Joint Commissioning Manager Chris Scally reported that “the committee reached consensus without much debate with a number of members and officers speaking in support of the Trust’s proposal recognising that it offered the most realistic and desirable future for an important building.”

Charles Wild said, “This is a very welcome and significant commitment from the County Council which will greatly strengthen our bid to the Heritage Lottery.  We are extremely grateful for the council’s support.”