After being closed for 20 years, Buile Hill Mansion in Salford is receiving £1.2 million for its renovation, as announced in the Salford City Council budget this week.
The mansion’s future has been at the centre of many local residents’ worries.
The Buile Hill Mansion Association are a group of volunteers that have been calling for local authorities to preserve and refurbish the Grade II listed building.
Mark Frith is a volunteer representative of the Buile Hill Mansion Association, founder of Growing Togetherness and horticulture therapy practitioner.
Mr Frith said: “We see the association group has to be conduit between the council and the community, to make sure so there is a strong voice from Salford local residents.
“It’s amazing they put this amount of money into a budget. It shows commitment by the council.”
Mr Frith said: “We need to get together and work out what we want to do. It’s important to know how the community keeps its ownership. What we wanted is it to be used for long term and for the community to decide.
“The group have got their ideas but it’s the community’s asset.”
One of his personal dreams for the mansion is to have a dedicated community kitchen sustained by produce grown within the park.
“What the association doesn’t want to happen is for to be taken over by a big institution and then developed for purely financial gain,” he added.
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “I am pleased that through our capital budget we have earmarked £1.2m for investment in this building.
“It will not be enough to fund the full scale of works required – but I hope it is a clear signal of our intent and commitment to this amazing asset, enabling us to leverage other funding to secure it for future generations.”
Mr Frith commented on plans for the near future and the importance to setting realistic goals for the next five years that keep the public engaged.
The volunteer group plans to create an information hub to display the latest developments and outcomes of meetings with the council.
Also, the aim to install a container that would store gardening tools. And later, decorate it with organic elements and work from local artists.
Mr Frith said the first meet-up ‘instilled a lot of good feelings from people that were upset about the deterioration of the garden’.
In the long-term, the Buile Hill Mansion Association group plans to commemorate the 200 years of the Grade II Listed building inside the mansion.
For now they will plant, clean, and make restorations to showcase the mansion’s potential to be ‘loved again’ said Mr Frith.
Follow all the progress of the mansion’s redevelopment on the Buile Hill Mansion Association Facebook.