Published Wednesday 27 January 2016 at 10:41
Efforts to transform the 17th Century coach house and stables at Turton Tower are moving forward.
The campaign to save and restore the building has already been awarded a £10,000 start-up grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and hopes are high that a full cash injection of up to £1million can be secured to complete the work.
Leader of the Save Our Stables group Jean Rigby – who is also councillor for the North Turton with Tockholes ward – revealed that a further £2,800 has been pledged by Friends of Turton Tower to enable research to be carried out and a full business plan to be drawn up.
Cllr Rigby said: “The Friends of Turton Tower have been heavily involved and without them it would have been very difficult to get the project off the ground.
“We are going to carry out a structural survey to find out what we can and can’t do with the building, and the start-up grant will also pay for architects’ drawings when we reach that stage.”
The disused 400-year-old building, which boasts a stone fireplace, lies within the grounds of the Grade I-listed Turton Tower in Chapeltown and the project also has the support of The Turton Tower Trust.
An open day was held in December, which attracted local residents and history enthusiasts who came up with a host of ideas as to what the new use of the building should be.
Cllr Rigby said: “There were lots of ideas put forward and we are still happy to hear any more.
“Returning it to a stables looks difficult, as we cannot get the grazing land, and it seems sensible to have something that is not too difficult to manage.
“One of the most popular proposals put forward is offices upstairs, with a cafe or restaurant on the ground floor.
“There is also plenty of support to have craft training, such as dry-stone walling workshops, in part of the building
“These sorts of rural crafts are dying out and it would be nice to do something to help keep them going.”