Dennett follows through with Buile Hill Mansion pledge
After more than two decades gathering dust, the grade two-listed building is about to embark on a new life as the home of the council’s registry service, a project promised by the city mayor during his last election campaign.
“I made a commitment to the city, our residents, and communities at the last mayoral election to bring Buile Hill Mansion back into community use,” Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said.
After years of false dawns, last week, Salford City Council approved plans to transform Buile Hill Mansion, located in the park of the same name.
“It is fantastic news that the planning panel has now approved our ambitious and exciting plans for this much-loved historic asset in the heart of our city and in the jewel in the crown that is the city’s central park,” Dennett said.
It is hoped that moving the registry service to the park from Swinton town centre will improve the service and provide users with better access to function space, such as Buile Hill Park Hall, an events and banqueting space located nearby.
Under Salford’s plans, the existing depot buildings are to be demolished to increase parking provision. The derelict greenhouse will be retained to give the group campaigning for its refurbishment the opportunity to present a business case for the project. If successful, the group will be given more time to develop and deliver the scheme.
As well as the 8,000 sq ft wedding and events venue, the revamped mansion would feature 3,000 sq ft of offices for the city council’s registry service, and a 2,000 sq ft café and bar.
Dennett added: “This historic building is a fitting place for people to register births, marriages, and deaths and provide a unique venue for weddings, civil partnerships, renewing vows and baby naming and citizenship ceremonies and associated celebrations.
“This significant investment to restore the historic mansion building will also hopefully act as a catalyst for future investment into Buile Hill Park.”
The restoration project is expected to last 12 months. Buttress is leading the redesign of the historic building.
Grant Prescott, associate at Buttress, said: “We cannot wait to start work on site and return Buile Hill Mansion back into use so that all people will be able to enjoy this wonderful building for many more years.
“For architects, it’s an interesting building to work on as it was originally designed by architect Charles Barry who was renowned for the designs of the Palace of Westminster and Manchester Art Gallery. We also understand the importance of the mansion and the surrounding park to the people of Salford and bringing it back into use will be particularly rewarding.”
To learn more about the project, search for reference numbers 23/81703/FUL and 23/81704/LBC on Salford City Council’s planning portal.
20 years empty
Buile Hill Mansion has been vacant since the Lancashire Mining Museum closed in 2000.
Since then, there have been three separate applications to convert the mansion into a hotel. The most recent, approved in 2008, was from Godliman-Watson Homes, which wanted to convert the building into a 93-bedroom luxury hotel.
Buile Hill Park and Mansion also featured in the BBC’s Manctopia series, during which it was the subject of a potential refurbishment project.
The scheme would have been delivered with the proceeds from a housing project developed by Capital&Centric on nearby brownfield land. However, the 60-home neighbourhood didn’t progress.