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Show of strength to boost institute plans
The project seeking National Lottery cash to bring Bridport ’s historic Literary and Scientific Institute building back to life has been given the town council’s blessing.
To show they mean business councillors pledged financial backing towards the scheme to re-open the long-closed building on East Street.
The Bridport Area Development Trust has developed detailed plans for the refurbishment and future use of the building is applying for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the £2.4 million project.
The outcome of the bid should be known at the end of November or in early December.
Members of the town’s finance and general purposes committee agreed to put £2,000 towards the project in the next financial year and earmark £5,000 for the delivery of the project, if and when the works start.
Committee chairman Coun Martin Ray said the council needed to show its backing.
“If we do not support the Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund will not support them.
“By showing our support, they are much more likely to get the money.
“This is really a town hall project, even though we have leased it out, so to speak. We can’t let it go.”
The Bridport Area Development Trust has been awarded a £200,000 grant towards the project to restore the Literary and Scientific Institute from the Challenge Fund for Buildings at Risk.
The building has been on English Heritage’s ‘at risk’ register since 2002.
The plans for the building will make it a mixed-use facility incorporating space for community use, information about local heritage, a talks and events programme and educational activity.