A project to carry out significant repairs and consolidation works on the Grade-I listed Workington Hall has been completed.
The works – which focused on repairs to the East Chapel – have been carried out by contractors Historic Property Restoration Ltd and Mosedale Gillatt Architects on behalf of Allerdale Borough Council.
The project has been made possible thanks to a grant of up to £150,000 from Historic England along with £50,000 from the council’s own funds.
The property was the ancestral home of the Curwen family and has origins dating back to 1380. It is currently on Historic England’s ‘at risk’ register and while the latest project will make the building’s future more secure, there is still a sizeable amount of work needed to be in a position to remove its ‘at risk’ status.
To help take that work forward the council has set up the Workington Hall and Parkland Steering Group which brings together county, district and town councillors, the local MP, and representatives of Workington Heritage Group and Workington Nature Partnership.
The group will provide strategic direction and community engagement for all activity in relation to the hall and its parklands.
Since 2013 the council has carried out three previous stages of work to the hall as part of its efforts to secure the building’s future.
Mike Johnson, leader of the council, said: “The council has a longer-term aim to get this amazing building off the ‘at risk’ register and these works are a significant stepping stone in achieving that, however, there is still much work needed to the hall.
“We know this structure and the parklands that surround it are really important to the local community and we’ll continue to work with our partners in the steering group and explore ways we can make further improvements.
“I’d like to thank all those involved in the latest set of works and, in particular, Historic England for providing the majority of the funding.”
Mark Jenkinson, MP for Workington and chair of the steering group, said: “I have always been a strong advocate for Workington Hall and its significance to Workington.
“For many years I have campaigned for its protection and future access and use, while retaining its historical value – indeed I even spoke about the history of the hall and its occupants in my maiden speech in the House of Commons.
“More recently, I have been pleased to chair this steering group to discuss the future of the hall and a strategy for the protection and future usage of hall and the parklands going forward.
“We have a fantastic asset in Workington Hall and I am confident that significant progress can be made over the coming months, not least thanks to further significant works approved in the council’s recent capital budget.”
Karen Heverin, a surveyor at Historic England, said: “We’re pleased to see our funds put to good use with these recent works and we’ll continue to advise and support our local partners as they work with people in the town to find a long-term use for this important piece of the town’s heritage.”