Lottery grant hope in scheme to restore Ashton Court Estate
A SCHEME to restore a historic lodge at the Ashton Court Estate will find out later this month whether it is to get backing from the National Lottery.
The Bristol Buildings Preservation Trust is working with the city council and Ashton Park School on the vision to restore the derelict Lower Lodge.
The building, which has been derelict for more than 20 years, is currently clad in scaffolding.
The Lower Lodge project is due to be considered by the Regional Lottery Committee later this month when a final decision is expected.
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The aim of the project is to restore the lodge to its former glory while giving young people and the local community a chance to take part in the restoration process.
Ian Rice, the projects and development officer at the Architectural Heritage Fund, said: "We wish the partnership every success in this endeavour and hope it will lead to a successful conclusion.
"The AHF has supported the trust with grants for an options appraisal and is pleased a fully developed scheme has emerged."
The £1 million project will include a brand new heritage centre and has won the full backing of the city council.
The project is currently being considered at the first stage of Heritage Lottery funding. The council is putting £80,000 towards the redevelopment.
The centre would be a collaboration between the council, the Bristol Buildings Preservation Trust and Ashton Park School.
The Lower Lodge, a grade II* listed building, has been derelict and deteriorating for many years due to its location next to the busy A370 and its situation within the boundary wall of Ashton Park School.
Its importance has been identified in the city council study of the Ashton Court Estate in 2002 and it has also been included on the English Heritage buildings at risk list.
The council's deputy leader, Simon Cook, has said that in its current state the building has become an "embarrassment" for the city.
"The building sits on one of the major routes into the city," he said. "Therefore, it's very unattractive, given the decayed state it's in.
"We urgently need to give the Lower Lodge the refurbishment it deserves."
The campaign to restore the building was launched two years ago by the city council.