More than sixty people came to Bridport Town Hall in the morning of Friday 6 July to look at plans and ideas for the future use of the Literary and Scientific Institute.
The plans, by Architecton Ltd, will form the basis of an application in August by the Bridport Area Development Trust for Heritage Lottery Funding for the capital costs of restoration. Financial support from English Heritage, the local councils and individuals enabled the Trust to commission a feasibility study from business planning consultant Christina Dixon, working with Paul Richold of Architecton.
Project co-ordinator Crystal Johnson and BADT Chair Charles Wild were on hand throughout the morning session to explain the proposals and answer questions.
“In order to have a chance of securing the funding for the restoration work (estimated at approximately £2m),” said Charles Wild, “we have to demonstrate that, once restored, the building can operate without public subsidy and pay its way. We believe that these plans will offer a basis of community and educational use in line with the aims of the founders of the original Literary and Scientific Institute, while also providing lettable space which will yield an income to support the running costs of the building.”
Comments on the plans from visiting members of the public included:
“It’s wonderful to think that this beautiful building could be open again and with such a diversity of uses. Also that the proposals are being true to its original purpose.”
“Excellent plans and vision.”
“A terrific piece of work. Love the plans. Impressed with how much work you have all put in.”
“Lovely to see the planned new use of building and love the mixed use plans.”
“So pleased that this building will benefit the community.”
The presentation on show at the Town Hall, including sketch plans for the building and photographs of its present state, can be viewed or downloaded as a pdf.
Download presentation and plans (pdf).