Lytham Hall lottery £1.7m restoration grant withdrawn

Lytham Hall Image copyright Lytham Hall
Image caption Lytham Hall was the former ancestral home of the Squires of Lytham

A grant of £1.7m has been withdrawn from a restoration project at a Grade I listed Georgian mansion.

The Heritage Lottery Fund said it "did not have confidence" around a reduced renovation application that was submitted for Lytham Hall, Lancashire.

The original scheme, which was unveiled in 2011, was expected to cost £5.9m but savings had to be made due to delays and a loss of other funding.

Lytham Town Trust, which owns the hall, said it was "disappointing".

Chairman David Gill said: "We'll be looking to understand reasons for the decision to come up with a plan for the future."

To date some £1.8m of the original £5.9m budget has been spent, including extensive clearance works on the 78 acres (31.5 hectares) of park grounds and woodlands.

'Historic significance'

The grant would have enabled the Heritage Trust North West, which manages the hall, to restore the building and enhance visitor facilities.

Sara Hilton, head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said they were willing to meet "to discuss next steps".

"While we recognise the historic significance of Lytham Hall and the potential for its restoration and redevelopment, risks identified with the proposed scheme meant that this request was not supportable," she said.

The hall was the former ancestral home of the Squires of Lytham - the Clifton family - from 1606 until 1963, when it was bought by Guardian Royal Exchange.

In 1996 the hall and its remaining 80-acre estate was put up for sale and was purchased by Lytham Town Trust with the help of a £1m donation from British Aerospace.

In 1998 management of the hall was transferred to the Heritage Trust for the North West.

Lytham Hall was placed on English Heritage's "at-risk" register in 2008 as "urgent repair works" were needed.

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