ONE of Leeds’s heritage jewels is to get a £600,000 refurbishment.
Lotherton Hall, in Aberford, will get the major cash injection as council bosses bid to modernise some key features, and catch up with a backlog of maintenance work.
The project will include a £260,000 refurbishment of the costume gallery, which is considered at risk because of inappropriate lighting and old, creaking display cabinets. Another £250,000 will go on maintenance work at the Edwardian mansion, which includes the installation of a new lift.
Coun Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure, said the work will support the city’s ambition to turn a much-loved visitor attraction into a major venue for fashion and textiles.
“As part of the revamp, our fashion galleries will be redeveloped, and when completed in 2015, will include new modern cases, improved lighting, and the chance to utilise new technology in sound and film,” she said.
A new report to the director of city development, which confirms the release of £602,605 of funding, says: “Refurbishment of the costume gallery is required due to the fact that the existing galleries are very dated and require bringing up to modern standards. The old fixed cases do not meet current industry standards required for displaying historical costume[s]. These display cases are also very restrictive in what can be displayed and how. “Inappropriate lighting presents a danger to the collections and is not energy-efficient.”
The report adds that a lift is necessary because the only current access to the first floor is via the traditional stairs, with part of the ground floor accessible by a chair lift, and this has been problematic in the past.
Lotherton Hall has been home to a number of prominent Leeds families, the last of them the Gascoignes, who handed it to the City of Leeds for public access in 1968, having inhabited the mansion since 1825.