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LOTTERY REJECTS BUILE HILL PARK
 

A Salford Star Exclusive

Star date: July 2nd 2009

WILKINSON'S HOTEL DESTROYS FUNDING FOR BUILE HILL PARK

The restoration of Buile Hill Park received a major blow today when the Heritage Lottery Fund rejected Salford Council's £3million application on the grounds that "a hotel within a park would impact on its character"…

Now, according to official figures, the Buile Hill rebuff has cost the Council almost £73,000.


After a long and bitter battle between the community and Salford Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund has finally sided with the community and rejected the Council's bid for a £3million `Parks for People' grant.

At the centre of the fight was John Wilkinson's plan to install a four star 93 bedroom hotel within Buile Hill Park's listed mansion building, formerly owned by the people of Salford. Against local public opinion, Wilkinson was given planning permission for the hotel. And Salford Council submitted the bid to restore the park with the hotel at its centre.

Critics argued that the restoration would merely enhance the hotel from which the public would be excluded, and letters and petitions were sent to the Lottery urging it to reject the Council's funding application. Now the Lottery has accepted the arguments put forward by critics, including Claremont Community Association.

"Whilst we recognised the historical importance of Buile Hill Park to both the local community and Salford, we had concerns about how the development of a hotel within the park would impact on its character" says Sara Hilton, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West "There is a high level of competition for our money and unfortunately we were unable to support this particular application."

Lib Dem Councillor Mary Ferrer, who led the opposition to the hotel, is pleased that the community's arguments were taken on board.

"I am actually glad that somebody has listened to what the people of Salford wanted" she says "We didn't want a hotel in a park, but because the Council wouldn't listen to other options we have now lost the Lottery bid. If we would have worked together we wouldn't be in the situation we are in today."

Now it's hoped that Wilkinson will back away from the project and the mansion will be given back to the people of Salford as a community resource.

Meanwhile, in a report to the Lead Member For Environment, dated 30th March 2009, Salford Council estimated that it would cost £72,685 in fees and surveys if the bid failed…

********************************************************

From Salford Star issue 8
Is a four star hotel in the middle of a public park going to benefit the people of Salford?
`The applicants conclude that with developments such as Media City, the number of people requiring high quality hotels will expand…'
Extract from planning panel notes

Stop Press 3rd July

Salford Council has just issued this staement from Councillor Joe Murphy, lead member for the environment:

"The news from the Heritage Lottery Fund is very disappointing but we remain committed to the redevelopment of Buile Hill Park for Salford residents. Our main priority right now is to get the feedback from the HLF to see what we can do to take things forward.This doesn't mean that we can can't put in another bid to the HLF in the future and our next steps will be to work with them to see what needs to be done to do this."

P.S. We suggest he starts listening to Salford people and that the Council gives us back our heritage.  We understand that John Wilkinson doesn't actually own the mansion yet, so it wouldn't be hard to do. 

 

Mrs L Caton wrote
at 14:57:07 on 24 January 2012
I agree with Mr Bloor, it would make an ideal register office, with weddings,reception, photographs taken in the grounds would be ideal, and would probably be used every week if not almost every day for this purpose.
 
anthony blore wrote
at 16:43:18 on 06 January 2012
when the registry office closed on barton lane in swinton,it seemed silly to put it in the town hall in swinton, using valuable office space.a ready made banqueting suite was on site in buille hill park,all it needed was a place to sleep after a wedding party,such as a hotel. you could even use the space downstairs as a registry office.theres plenty of parking space its not really a built up area and both facilities are next to each other.surely the people of salford could make this a profit making idea
 
Brian Francis Kirkham wrote
at 04:37:38 on 22 July 2009
Wasn't this once a fine Museum in the heart of a park worthy of being its home? Lets get the Mining Museum back as a MUSEUM * and not some glorified edifice for the rich. Oh, and while we're at it, fix up the parks in general...places like these should be put it trust for the general public - not left for those higher than the norm to use as their own playspace.
 
Phil Stokoe wrote
at 21:07:12 on 15 July 2009
I can't help wondering what is the alternative to a hotel for the mansion - the building has no obvious purpose, and I can't truly believe that it is a good idea to turn it into some kind of people's resource as it (and the surrouding outbuildings) strike me as a) very large, b)costly to restore and maintain and c) astonishingly poorly located for a major tourist attraction. At the moment, the building is not open to the public, and deterioratring - a hotel, commercial use, would bring the building back to use - last time I vchecked, most hotels were keen that the public did come in to use them and as a Claremont Road resident I'd welcome a nice place for sunday tea, weddings etc (which is what I'd do if running the buidling) The surrouding park will still be there, still be open to the public and enhanced by a quality building in the middle. The Halls in Heaton Park or Wythenshawe Park provide lessons for me in running buildings like these for non-commercial uses - both are shabby, deteriorating and in parts semi-derelict. If the building was in fine condition, already open to the public, making money and able to attract visitors to wash its own face, all well and good - but it isn't and an attractive hotel is the best solution for this building and a great way to attract people to Salford and the park.
 
phil lockett wrote
at 04:33:53 on 10 July 2009
it hasnt cost the council f**k all its cost us salford taxpayer £73k,who do they think they are , what next a costly appeal
 
Eileen Palm wrote
at 16:38:47 on 07 July 2009
Thanks for this article. The sale of this building at a knockdown price for use as a hotel is scandalous. Can any of these decisions be appealed to a higher authority and overturned, as they are so clearly misguided and not in the public interest? Is it possible to take this to the European Court of Human Rights, even? Urgent action is needed if this park is to avoid becoming a hotel grounds and car park. A look at the council's own website for the redevelopment of the park shows that Buile Hill was one of the earliest parks, painstakingly created at the beginning of the park movement. It was also a possible inspiration for 'The Secret Garden' which was the story of the awakening of some kind of social conscience about open space and access to it for all, not just the wealthy. So what is this then, the end? Central Salford URC is meant to be "engaging" local people and getting their involvement on how Salford is regenerated. But this sorry tale is one of totally ignoring residents' wishes. The question is, can Wilkinson be either shamed or legally pressured into returning the building and if so [and that is a big if!] can a compatible use be found for it? For example could it be put to educational use, or used as a public arts and crafts building incorporating gallery space, after school music lessons, other creative/educational activities, etc
 
Richard Carvath wrote
at 19:26:08 on 06 July 2009
Good article. I agree that a hotel development would be a bad idea. The park should be restored in the public interest, in consultation with the community and for the benefit of all Salfordians. The Council ought to be a good guardian of what is a great resource for the community; the park should be safe in Council hands but the Council has yet to get it right on this one - more listening to locals might help!
 
Mike Skeffington wrote
at 15:52:38 on 03 July 2009
This is good news for the people of Salford. I remember the mining museum at Buile Hill which was a great resource and should be restored. As Salfordians we should realise that places such as Buile Hill and Littleton Road playing fields belong to US!!! not the council, it's our heritage which they (the council) and their cronies, ie, Wilkinson and other 'easy buck' investers are trying to steal. Here's an idea: lets get back all the stolen expenses money and restore the mining museum.
 
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