Investors sought to secure future of Bridgwater landmark

Investors sought to secure future of Bridgwater landmark

The repairs to the rear of Castle House. Photo: Acanthus Fergurson Mann

Concept design of the Castle House project. Photo: Acanthus Fergurson Mann

First published in News by

POTENTIAL investors are being sought to help to preserve one of Bridgwater’s most historic and iconic landmarks.

Castle House was built in 1842 for John Board, a successful local builder and manufacturer of tiles and ‘modern’ cements.

It is now owned by The SAVE Trust, which, together with architect Chris Balme of Acan-thus Fergurson Mann and Eng-lish Heritage, is restoring the building.

Emergency restorations, including work to secure the original and unique flooring, were completed last summer and the Trust hopes to apply for another grant soon.

Clem Cecil, director of SAVE Britain's Heritage, said: “We are now looking for an end user. Ideally we want to see Castle House taken up for community, charitable or cultural uses – but if a company is interested in restoring it to be used as offices, we would be open to that.

“The building should be repaired and adapted in a way that preserves its special character and architecture - to make it a beacon for regeneration in this part of Bridgwater.”

In January 2012, Sedgemoor District Council gifted land next to the building to the Trust to be used for an extension.

A spokesman for SDC said: “Despite one or two hiccups along the way the site's transfer is being progressed and should be completed within the next couple of months.

“The agreement does set a five-year timescale for restoration/redevelopment to take place or the land will transfer back to the council.”

Derek Gibson, chairman of Bridgwater Heritage Regeneration Partnership, welcomed the opportunity.

He said: “By including the land next to Castle House, it makes the project more viable for investors and is a step forward to preserving this important building.”

Architect Chris Balme said: “Castle House provides a nationally important and unique link in the history of construction.

“A project combining the original landmark building with the convenience of a large modern extension would be suitable for a range of uses.”

Interested parties are welcome to contact the architects on cbalme@fm-architects.co.uk

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