Manchester City Council is looking for a partner to invest in and manage the much-loved Orangery, helping to open the space for public events for the first time in six years.
In discussion with the Friends of Heaton Hall group and Historic England, amongst others, it has been agreed that it is now an appropriate time to seek a partner to work with the Council and Friends’ group and start bringing the Hall more actively back into life.
Following the huge successes of opening the Hall for Heritage Open Days and theatrical productions, the Orangery and Smithy Lodge represent the next stage of the property’s refurbishment.
The Council is looking for a partner operator to invest in fitting out and operating the Orangery as an event, wedding venue and conferencing facility, working alongside the Council and Friends to allow more public access to some of the main rooms at the magnificent home.
Despite having closed as a venue in 2011, The Orangery has remained a much sought-after venue throughout the refurbishment of Heaton Hall, with high demand from wedding planners in particular hoping to use the spectacular property for their big day.
The repair works across Heaton Hall are well underway with significant funding from Historic England.
Visitors to the park will see that the windows to the Orangery have been renewed, the flat roof is being replaced, and the flaking paintwork to the walls has been carefully removed following analysis of the various paint layers by nationally leading paint conservators.
Over the coming weeks the damaged render to the north facade, and to the two loggias to the south side, is being repaired by building restoration specialists, in materials mixed to match the composition of the original.
Once those works are completed the rendered walls will be repainted to complement the restored stonework elsewhere on the building.
A formal tender process for a partner to take on The Orangery will begin in spring 2018.
Details of the current opportunity can be found on the website www.manchester.gov.uk/heatonhallorangery
Cllr Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “We have one of the top wedding venues in the region in Heaton Hall, and it being closed for several years has been a tragedy for the many would be bride and grooms who would have loved to have their special day in the beautiful surrounds of the Hall.
“After much hard work to bring life back into Heaton, it is with great excitement that we can begin to prepare for the future of The Orangery and welcome wedding parties back for the first time in more than six years.
“This is an incredibly special opportunity, and we would love to hear from you if you believe you can make dreams a reality at Heaton Hall.”
Charles Smith (Principal Adviser, Heritage at Risk, Historic England North West)said:
“It’s wonderful that the restoration of Heaton Hall is now nearing completion. This beautiful Grade I listed building is a huge asset to the people of Manchester, and we are sure that the refurbished orangery will attract a lot of interest. We are delighted to have worked closely with Manchester City Council to help make the regeneration of this grand 18th century mansion a reality.”