The Literary and Scientific Institute is a grade II* listed building and has been on English Heritage’s At Risk register since 2002. The project will completely restore the building, and also improve its facilities to ensure that it is fully accessible for everyone. The building is in a very poor state and there are some significant structural issues that need to be addressed. The project will work closely with English Heritage, listed building officers and an experienced professional team to ensure that the restoration is sympathetic to its historic character and safeguards the building’s future.
Legal and funding agreements are being finalised and the design team is already on board. Initially there is a lot more detailed planning that needs to be completed before work can start on site, so the aim is to begin work on the building in early 2016. The restoration will take about 18 months and the hope is that the building will reopen in 2017.
It is not an easy project due to the complexity of the restoration and the extent of work that needs to be undertaken to restore the building. The building has been slowly decaying over the past 17 years, we hope that everyone will bear with us for the next couple of years as inevitably there will be some short term inconveniences as we work to save this incredibly important building for the town and its future generations.
The total cost of the project will be approximately £2.6m, but the majority of this funding is now confirmed, and includes support from HLF, English Heritage, Challenge Fund, Pilgrim Trust, Headley Trust, Dorset County Council, West Dorset District Council, and Bridport Town Council.
We still have about £140,000 to raise but we feel we are now on the home straight. We will be continuing with our fundraising efforts through the project delivery and we would welcome additional support or assistance.
If you would like to get involved in the project, are interested in renting space in the finished building or simply want to join the mailing list please contact Crystal Johnson: Crystal@bridportadt.org.uk