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SALFORD BID FOR BUILE HILL PARK MANSION TO BE HANDED TO COMMUNITY
 

Star date: 13th July 2016

A Salford Star Exclusive

BUILE HILL PARK MANSION TO COME BACK TO COMMUNITY?

A consortium of Salford community groups have filed an expression of interest in Buile Hill Mansion, the Grade 2 listed building that has lied empty for almost 15 years, as a series of attempts to turn it into a hotel have floundered.

Now a group, led by Sounds of Salford Radio owner, Simon Williams, and the Salford Reds Rugby League Foundation, have plans to turn the Mansion into a proper community space, with the exciting prospect of re-opening the Mining Museum, as they hope Salford Council give the building back to Salford people.

Full details here...


Buile Hill Park Mansion Salford Buile Hill Park Mansion Salford
click image to enlarge

In September last year, Salford City Council almost announced that the much loved Grade 2 listed Buile Hill Mansion had been sold to a developer who it was believed had plans to turn it into a hotel, as a six month `exclusivity' deal was declared (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

With that six month deal now expired without a sale, the Mansion is up for grabs and a new consortium has come forward with big plans for community use as it's hoped Salford Council will hand it back to the people of Salford.

Simon Williams, owner of Sounds of Salford Radio, is leading a bid with John Blackburn of the Salford Reds Rugby League Foundation to take over the building, and want new Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett to rubber stamp the deal...

"This is going to depend on Council goodwill" says Simon "What a great statement for Paul Dennett  to make that he has arrived as Mayor than to give this building back to the people of Salford.

"Rather than seeing another great building go to waste, let's get the kids off the streets and local people in here and give them something to do and somewhere to go" he adds "There is work that needs doing inside and it needs funding, and then we want to bring it back to life."

The plans include a top floor radio suite to teach young people editing and presentation skills, a rugby museum on the middle floor, which could also include a Salford music and art museum, while the ground floor would see a community cafe and workshop space. Most exciting of all is the possibility of re-opening the Mansion's basement as a Salford Mining Museum...

"We had a look around and the basement has still got the tracks from the original mining museum in there" says Simon "But everything is to be decided. We need to get all the parties together and involved. There's lots of local people who love this park. It's got special memories for everyone. We've seen the derelict state it's in because it's been empty for over 14 years and we've got to act fast."

The consortium has already held meetings with Urban Vision to discuss plans and have filed an expression of interest.


*Simon Williams is also an author and his last book had a character called `Williams' who took over Buile Hill Mansion, as fiction just might be turning fact (see here).


The History of Buile Hill Park Mansion...

* Believed to have been built around 1835, designed by Charles Barry, who was the architect for the House of Commons. This was his first recorded domestic commission and his only recorded Greek villa.

* The Mansion was Grade 2 listed in 1980 along with its grounds and was the home of the much loved Lancashire Mining Museum until it was closed by Salford Council cuts in 2000.

* Legend has it that Francis Hodgson Burnett based her world famous book, The Secret Garden, on visits to the park and mansion.

* In 2008 Salford City Reds owner, John Wilkinson, won planning permission to turn the mansion into a four star country style hotel, against massive community opposition (see Salford Star print issue 8)

* In 2009 the Heritage Lottery Fund rejected a £3million bid from Salford Council on the grounds that "a hotel within a park would impact on its character".

At the time the then LibDem councillor Mary Ferrer stated "I am actually glad that somebody has listened to what the people of Salford wanted. 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." (see previous Salford Star article – click here)

* In 2013 the Mansion was put back on the market after Wilkinson's hated plans bit the dust (see previous Salford Star article - click here)

* In 2015 a Salford Council report stated that an un-named party had been given a six month exclusivity deal on the Mansion. That has now expired

Michael James Felse wrote
at 10:55:31 on 15 July 2016
I totally support heritage being handed into the safe hands of local communities. I want the new Mayor of Greater Manchester to pledge Buile Hill as the seat for the new office. The automatic £9million for the establishment of a new office will bring in quality renovation while giving grass root access to a new Mayor, and visa versa, The Mansion is thus shared by community groups and return of the Mining Museum. As an ex coal miner it makes me proud to reflect on such great families history. Thank you Simon and SRLF.
 
Oscar and Sadie - Salford Hounds wrote
at 20:26:10 on 14 July 2016
We often get taken for our ta-tas on Buile Hill/Seedley Parks. Our owner is very responsible clearing up any "mistakes" we make. But we'll tell you what - running through the long grass with thistles is VERY painful on our tummies! And what about children? They cant run around in the same area too and they and we lose our tennis balls and footballs. Leader of the Pack - Mayor Dennett - make our park human and dog friendly again!!
 
Salford Senser (NOT Censor) wrote
at 20:25:35 on 14 July 2016
Well done Mary Ferrer - you are extremely farsighted and it is a shame that the powers that be in Salford Civic Centre never listened to you in 2009 about this matter, and other matters that have arisen since then. Salford would be a far better place if they listen to you!! You have the finger on the pulse of Claremont (although this building is in Langworthy!) and surrounding areas but,local sentiments apart, can I suggest that readers "google" Seedley Park and Buile Hill Park. It was a fantastic civic amenity, a playground and "lungs" of the area. Today this is a sad relic of what it used to be... a bit like Miss Haversham in "Great Expectations", reminiscing of past glories. Salford City Council can afford to bring back these Parks to their former glory with the money in their reserves, in partnership with the Consortium that wants to restore the Mansion. Come on Mayor Dennett - pull your finger out!!!
 
Salford and Proud wrote
at 16:12:23 on 14 July 2016
I only hope this council has the sense to see , how good this could be for the city of salford , a museum of museums , this really could be something big , music, mining, sport ,and also getting the local kids off the street what more could the council ask ?????? well done all concerned and good luck
 
James Walsh wrote
at 13:15:27 on 14 July 2016
Buile Hill Park would make a superb Ecology Park as the park is full of urban wildlife such as the Manchester Poplar, Tawny Mining Bees, Sparrowhawk, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest & Nuthatch If anyone involved in the bid would like free advice from a qualified ecologist email: mancunianbirder@gmail.com
 
salford resident wrote
at 09:24:46 on 14 July 2016
About time something was done to this park , i hope these lads , can do this as it sounds an amazing project and would be good for the city , the area needs this , i wish them luck
 
Debbie rothwell wrote
at 22:31:12 on 13 July 2016
I Hope this lovely building is not going to decay any further..i went to buile hill high and fond memories of the place as a museum..so much history as this building it would be a crime to just let it decay , i really hope Simon gets this project off the ground
 
Simon Williams wrote
at 22:31:07 on 13 July 2016
Would like to thank Labour Councillor Sam Bellamy for all the help , in helping us get this project off the ground , i just hope the people of Salford get behind this and we get the museum and the park back to its former glory for the people of Salford
 
Louise wrote
at 20:34:22 on 13 July 2016
Great news this, ambition and honest intentions. Best of luck to Simon, and the SRD Foundation. A beautiful building needs bringing back to life for the community to enjoy. Good luck , hope Mr Dennett supports this venture.
 
mary Ferrer wrote
at 20:34:19 on 13 July 2016
There is a God after all. I hope with all my heart this project gets off the ground.it was bought for the people of Salford,by the people of Salford.At least with hope our Mansion house will still be here for generations to come.😁
 
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