After more than six years of project development, the Bridport Area Development Trust is in the final process of appointing contractors to begin work on the restoration of Bridport Literary and Scientific Institute.

The Grade 2* listed building in East Street has been empty since 1997 and is currently on the national At Risk register.  Initial clearing and tidying inside the building has already been completed and the architects have undertaken further studies and opening up works to inform the detail of the restoration and redevelopment.  Once the final drawings and costings have been completed, contractors will be confirmed, with a view to starting the main building work on site later this year.  In the meantime, the building will be protected to ensure there is no further deterioration to its condition.

Mike Carter, Chair of the LSI working group said, “projects of this kind are incredibly complex and we always knew that that LSI was going to be particularly challenging due to the very poor condition of the building and the restricted nature of the site.  It is a slow process but with continuing support and funding from Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund,  we remain committed to delivering a project of the highest quality that brings this much loved historic building back into community use.

Alongside the physical work to the building a programme of community activities and events is being developed to celebrate the building’s history and its local heritage importance.

Crystal Johnson, Activities Coordinator for the LSI project said, “We have a whole range of different activities planned to involve individuals, community groups and local schools.  We are working closely with the museum and the Town Hall to create a joined up approach to telling the story and really celebrating our local heritage.  We will shortly be launching an oral history project and would love to hear from anyone who has memories, stories or even little snippets of information about the LSI and its history.  We are also really keen to locate any photographs or documents that will help to tell the story of this special building”.

Although the majority of the funding for the project has been secured, fundraising is continuing.  A programme of fundraising talks will include a special talk by writer Anna Pavord on Monday 11 April at 2.30 pm at The Tithe Barn Symondsbury, Bridport  DT6 6HQ.  The event is organised in partnership with Bridport Literary Festival, tickets are £12 and include tea with the author.  Available through the Bridport Tourist Information Centre 01308 424901 or on the door.

If you would like to be kept informed about the project and future developments please contact Crystal Johnson to join the mailing list: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

If you would like to make a donation to the project please visit: www.bridportadt.org.uk/donate

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