2015 has been another big year of expansion at our base at Calderstones and we’re very pleased to announce that the next stage of redevelopment of Calderstones Mansion is imminent, thanks to a secured confirmed grant of £1.99million from Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
In 2014, The Reader at Calderstones project received initial first-round development funding and support from HLF, focusing on building a series of history-based events, talks and workshops showcasing the heritage of the Mansion and the surrounding park. The new investment will enable us to build on the work that has already taken place creating a flagship International Centre for Reading for the future of the Grade II listed building whilst also commemorating and celebrating its past glories.
Sara Hilton, Head of HLF North West, said:
“The Reader is a real Liverpool success story that helps thousands of people get together to share their love of reading. We were hugely impressed by these proposals that will bring an exciting new use to the 19th century Mansion House and help many more people discover the history of the 4000 year old Calderstones. Special thanks must go to National Lottery players for making our investment possible.”
A crucial part of the regeneration will be the rehousing of The Calderstones, the oldest human monument in Liverpool. These forgotten Neolithic treasures are older than the Pyramids and will now be brought back into the heart of Calderstones Park, where their conditions will be significantly improved for present and future generations to enjoy. Liverpool City Council, National Museums Liverpool and Manchester University have all been consulted as part of the process.
Initial work will begin in 2016 to secure the building which over the years has fallen into a state of disrepair. Currently hidden architecturally significant elements will be carefully revealed and restored, bringing the Mansion back to life.
The finished regeneration of the building will house a heritage room which will show how one of the many rooms in the Mansion may have looked in 1880 in its heyday. Visitors will get the opportunity to interact with objects and learn about the history of the house at that time. As well as these key historical features, there will be four reading rooms allowing us to continue our shared reading groups at Calderstones, bringing people together to read great literature out loud as a practical way of improving wellbeing, building stronger communities and extending reading pleasure. A newly created bistro will also allow visitors to relax after their visit and soak up and reflect on the atmosphere of the house.
Our Founder and Director Dr Jane Davis has expressed her excitement on behalf of The Reader at the wonderful news:
“We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. It will allow us to grasp this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create something truly special at Calderstones for the city of Liverpool and beyond. Not only will this mean we can offer more of our reading groups and continue to grow our wellbeing initiatives here but we can carefully bring The Calderstones themselves back to their rightful place at the heart of the park to be enjoyed and cherished by visitors.”
With this news we’re looking forward to 2016 bringing in the biggest chapter yet in the story of Calderstones Mansion.
For more news and updates about what’s happening at the Mansion, head over to the Calderstones Mansion blog.