Porthleven Town Council wins National Lottery support to investigate restoration of the Bickford-Smith Institute

The restoration of the Bickford-Smith Institute is a major project which is being undertaken by Porthleven Town Council via a working group consisting of town councillors and a group of dedicated volunteers.

This is a ambitious project to not only restore the most iconic building in Porthleven, but also to look at the future use of the building.

After many many month of hard work which resulted in a very detailed funding bid submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund, has been rewarded by a award of £20,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

This money will be pooled with the £2,700 from the Cornwall Council Devolution Fund and just over £2,000 already committed by the Town Council to seek professional advice on securing the building for the future.

The Heritage Lottery grant will cover the cost of looking at the current condition of the building and at how it can best be preserved for future generations, including a set of fully costed options for how the building might be restored and sustainably run for the benefit of the community of Porthleven. It will also look at plans for the future of the snooker club, who currently lease part of the building.

The grant will cover the costs of:

• A full feasibility study

• Additional community consultation.

• Establishing a Friends group

• Review of fundraising opportunities

• Professional support and training for the Working Party, who have been tasked by the Council with delivering the work

• Appointing architects to commission and oversee a structural, environmental, contamination, utilities, flood, heritage and access surveys.

• Appointing a Quantity Surveyor to undertake an initial assessment of restoration and operating costs for the Institute.

• Appointing Business Planners to advise on establishing governance models and to carry out options appraisal.

This is a very important step in securing the future of the Bickford-Smith Institute. I want to thank the hard-work of working group; as without their dedication, this funding would not have been awarded.

This grant from the Heritage Lottery, together with money from the Town and County Council, allows us to investigate fully costed possibilities for the future of the building and to consult with our community on all aspects of future use. This will give us a very sound base on which to raise the million pounds we estimate is needed to fully restore the building.

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