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Master’s House bid given March date
12:30pm Friday 18th January 2013 in News
THE success of a £1 million grant for the reconstruction of the mediaeval part of Ledbury’s iconic Master’s House, should be known in March.
Herefordshire Council will then know whether a Heritage Lottery Fund grant bid for the reconstruction has been successful.
Andy Tector, the authority’s head of special projects, told Ledbury Town Council the bid went in December and the money would “cover most of the reconstruction costs of the mediaeval element” of the building, which was founded in 1232.
Mr Tector said: “If we are successful, the building could be re-opened by early summer 2014.”
The 15th Century part of the building is set to house a Herefordshire Council customer services front desk and new library.
Mr Tector said the building would also house a permanent display by the John Masefield Society, the group that celebrates the former Poet Laureate, Ledbury’s most famous son. The mediaeval building will also provide a home for the Victoria County History Society.
In the Old Hall, there will also be a permanent display to explain the building and the architecture.
Entrance will be free.
Mr Tector said although no registrar would be based in Ledbury, there would be a licensed ceremony room where weddings could take place.
Ledbury’s mayor, Herefordshire councillor for Ledbury, Phill Bettington said: “If people request a wedding, my understanding is that the registrar could come in from Hereford.”
The front of the building, which at present is the Victorian part facing Bridge Street, will be changed, with a new entrance facing the Feather’s Hotel, where an entrance existed in mediaeval times.
By the new front entrance, a small square will take up some existing car parking spaces, perhaps no more than 12, and this could be used for functions such as outdoor markets and other functions.
Ledbury Community Voluntary Action will have offices in the building, and Ledbury Mobility Centre will move from the old Ambulance Station in Bye Street to new, modern premises, attached to the Master’s House.
Ledbury’s deputy mayor, Cllr Terry Widdows, asked Mr Tector whether there was a back up plan should the Lottery bid fail, and was told ‘Yes’ but no further details were given.