Pugin masterpiece approaches end of 20 year restoration journey
Widely seen as a masterpiece of Victorian gothic architecture, the buildings were designed by famed architect E W Pugin and completed in 1872. Over a century passed with the Monastery serving as a spiritual and social centre for the community.
However, in 1989 the church was closed and suffered seven years of neglect.
When the Monastery of St Francis and Gorton Trust took over in 1997, it faced the crucial task of saving what had become one of Manchester’s most famous landmarks.
In 2007 the building was reopened and quickly became a popular award-winning events venue, providing jobs and contributing to the regeneration of the local area.
[quote=Paul Griffiths] “This very important and necessary HLF grant sits alongside other important donations and is wonderful news. It will allow us to complete the task first started in 1996.”[/quote]
Now, the Trust has received nearly £2million of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to complete the restoration and secure the building's future.
A new Welcome Wing will be built, complete with new community and education spaces, and upgraded visitor facilities. Some of the new space created will also be used to tell the incredible story of the Monastery and people who have passed through its doors.
Paul Griffiths, Chairman of the Monastery of St Francis and Gorton Trust, said: “Once this final phase of work has been completed these beautiful heritage buildings can be open every day for local schools, charities, community groups and organisations to use and enjoy so that the Monastery will be at the heart of its local community once more.”
The work is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.