A JEWEL in the crown of Winsford is a step closer to being restored to its former glory.

Restoration plans for the Brunner Guildhall have received a cash boost of £75,000.

A grant worth £47,500 has been awarded from the Architectural Heritage Fund for the scheme which will see the historic building become a community venue, while Winsford Town Council will spend £27,500.

The funding was welcomed by councillors at a remote town council meeting on Monday evening.

Town clerk and finance officer Mark Bailey said: “This is really good news. This building is the pride of Winsford.

“We want to do the very best to bring it back to its former glory. We want the community to be able to use it. Engagement with the community will be very much part of this work. This is exciting."

Winsford Guardian:

Sir Hugo Brunner, Sir John Brunner's grandson, town clerk Mark Bailey and mayor Cllr Ailsa-Gaskill celebrating the 100th anniversary of Sir John Brunner's death at the Brunner Guildhall

The cash will be used to develop the project to a stage where a design for the building’s refurbishment can be produced, ahead of a grant application to the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

At £60,000, the bulk of the money will be spent on consultancy costs – including architects, quantity surveyors and drainage specialists.

A further £10,000 will be spent on professional fees – including engagement with the community – while £5,000 will go towards the cost of town council staff working on the scheme.

“The next step is to appoint an architect and surveyor,” Mr Bailey told councillors. “We know the cost of renovating this building will be substantial. It is going to be a challenge, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic.”

READ > Hong Kong Chef Chinese takeaway overwhelmed with orders as it reopens in Winsford

Cllr Joanne Moorcroft, leader of Winsford Town Council Labour Group said: “Restoration plans for the Brunner Guildhall are making progress and it’s an exciting time for the town.

“Thank-you to council staff and others who worked so hard on our successful grant application.

“A restored Brunner Guildhall is something we can look forward to and we will keep residents involved in the plans.”

Local architects will be given a a project brief and invited to make presentations about how they would carry out the work to a town council steering group.

Cllrs Moorcroft and Nathan Pardoe were nominated to sit on the steering group, alongside the town mayor, chairman and deputy chairman of the finance committee and clerk Mark Bailey.

The Guildhall was bestowed to the town by Sir John Brunner.