Where we are now:
After 5 years of planning and fundraising, the Trust is now working to complete the final stages of the Project. The building has now been unwrapped following the dismantling of the temporary roof and scaffold that has dominated the town’s landscape over the last six months. With major structural and external repair work complete, work is now starting on the building’s interiors. The capital project is on target to complete this Autumn with a view to the building being open for business before the end of the year.
We have appointed our Centre Manager, Michele Morgan, who will be starting work in June to help us shape the LSI offer, to find occupiers for our stunning office areas and to set up a framework for the use of our planned innovative work hub space, meeting and training rooms which together, aim to enable and support small businesses to develop, collaborate and grow. The Centre Manager will also be helping to develop exciting interpretation projects in the building to convey it’s rich industrial heritage and it’s continuing future role in supporting enterprise in the town. Intrinsic to the offer will be LSIfood, our canteen which will be open to LSI users and the public alike.
We are still looking for the last bit of funding to ensure that this project has all the resources it needs to make it the stimulating business development centre for the local area which will help small emerging businesses and give better access to training for our young people. Please help in any way you can by attending our events or making a donation. It will be so appreciated!
Our Summer Reception is in the wonderful garden of Mappercombe Manor in Nettlecombe this coming Saturday, 10th June from 5pm until 7.30pm (by kind invitation of Mrs Annie Crutchley). Tickets (to include refreshments) are £20. For tickets, please email email@example.com or phone 01308 422770.
This is not only an important fundraiser for the LSI, but also a kind of celebration! We are close to our target community fundraising total and are also into the final leg of the restoration itself. We want to explain how the money raised so far has enabled the restoration work to date by showing you some recent pictures of the building’s interior. By coming to this event, we can also explain how the restored building will be used.
Our guest speaker, Martin Ballam of Xtreme Falconry, will be talking about birds of prey and there will be refreshments (and a marquee should the weather be unkind).
Bridport Area Development Trust is delighted to welcome Supreme Court President, Lord Neuberger, to Bridport to give a talk about the Supreme Court and its role in our challenging times.
The talk will take place at 7.30pm on Friday 28 April at Bridport Town Hall.
Tickets £10 (including galss of wine) from Bridport Tourist Information Centre
Lord Neuberger was appointed President of The Supreme Court (the UK’s highest Court) in 2012 after a distinguished career at the Bar and in the judiciary. As such he is the UK’s most senior judge.
He is most widely known perhaps for presiding over the Court and delivering judgement in the recent high profile case on Article 50(on the need for Parliament to approve the notice to leave the EU) which threw a spotlight on the Court’s constitutional role, the separation of powers and the rule of law.
Lord Neuberger has been involved in many of the Court’s most important decisions; he is a leading promoter of the openness of the Court, and of the diversity of the Justices who serve on it.
Come along to our fundraising pub quiz
Tuesday 11 April at 8.00pm
The Ropemakers, West Street
Work continues to progress at amazing pace at the LSI and recent developments for some reason have lots of very strong colours running through them.
The rear roof is now covered with slate and lead guttering details are being put in place.
The front roof isn’t far behind. Now the interior scaffolding has been removed the new first floor mezzanine is starting to take shape.
Inside the floors are being cut to allow for the lift shaft so the old colourful toilets are now gone. In contrast the rear building is looking a little ominous as the tanking begins but it won’t be long before dark becomes light
At the front the light is flooding through the scaffolding and casting lovely shadows on the ramp down into the basement – and I wonder if the builders are making votive offerings to help speed the project?
We are looking to commission an artist to work with community groups to develop a permanent art installation reflecting the literary history and heritage of the LSI, for the interior of the lift carriage.
The project is part of the programme of heritage inspired activities for the restoration project.
To request a full brief for the project please contact us through the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org
It is so busy at the LSI this week – although everything seems to be happening at basement and higher levels leaving the ground floor relatively calm.
At basement new walls (many wheelbarrows of bricks being laboriously taken down the front ramp to where they are needed!) and the base of the lift shaft are being constructed.
The rear basement rooms are being prepared for tanking to deal with the constant damp and make them usable in the future. The air is filled with dust as concrete is sprayed onto the walls as part of this process.
Big excitement at first floor as the huge steels of the mezzanine have now been installed. These were craned into the first floor windows early last Sunday morning. It has absolutely transformed the space – it will be the most amazing space to work with views down to West Bay. (if you are interested in office space leave your email on our contact page and we’ll add you to our mailing list so you here about opportunities as soon as they become available – the LSI will be THE place to be!)
The roof is looking good and it won’t be long before slates can go back on. There’s still quite a lot of careful repair and restoration to restore the original features in this beautiful old building – but its getting there.
The builders working on site are doing a fantastic job and its worth just recognizing that they are working in really tricky conditions and appreciating how jolly and friendly they always are. During the cold weather it has felt as if the inside of the LSI is significantly colder than everywhere else but due to constraints of the site there is no warm and cosy site office for coffee and lunch times. The builders have to use what ever space is available (currently the landing) and heat comes from small freestanding electric heaters – its freezing in there!
The hallowed flexi bucket has been the tool of choice during the excavations – tonnes and tonnes of mud, clay and rubble have been removed by hand from the basement and out of the building through a small window opening – a feat of patience and endurance!
There is a real sense that everyone working on site is very proud of their work, they really care and appreciate just how important the LSI is as an historic building. Its incredibly exciting to see work progressing and reassuring to know that the building is in really good hands.
Things are moving at a pace now and slowly the building seems to be coming back together after some really, really BIG repair work.
In the basement the rear building floor has been excavated and new drainage laid to deal with the perpetual damp and flooding. Just in the last few weeks there has been mud, followed by gravel and now there is a screed.
The drainage pipes to deal with all the water are huge!
At the front of the building the ugly ramp has gone and the original stone and basement windows have been exposed – this really opens up the building and will allow natural light into the basement to make the rooms usable. A platform lift will be installed over the small steps at the top of the ramp going down to the basement to allow access for all and the original steps up to the front door and railings along the front will be reinstated – its going to look great and will start to make visual sense with the building next door once again.
On the roof the front parapet has now been rebuilt and there are lovely new (and very stable!) chimneys that are crucial for natural ventilation in the building.
The flat roof behind the parapet is being constructed and all the massive structural steels are now in place. I think we can all be sure that this building is still going to be standing many hundreds of years into the future.
The last week has seen the arrival and installation of the major steels in the roof to reinforce the building structure and enable the new mezzanine in the first floor. For safety we had to close the footpath outside the building for one day but when you look at the size of the steels – which all had to be individually hoisted up the front of the building – I’m sure no-one would really want to be walking anywhere near them when they were in mid air!
Meanwhile elsewhere in the building the floor to the rear building has gone – it would make quite a lovely banqueting hall! However a new floor will be going in, together with miles of cabling and ventilation to create lovey new toilets and super smart professional work space (if you’re looking to set up, expand or simply get out of the house to work, the LSI will be the place to be – you can send us an email via the contact page if you want to be kept in touch!)
This work has revealed more lovely handmade details – here the mortise and tenon joinery on the old fireplace hearth
Like a little chick hatching from its shell we’re nearly through opening up the downstairs arch – and the lift openings are now finished.
We will hopefully have one more post before the site closes for Christmas next week. Thank you all for your ongoing interest and support – 2017 will see huge changes and a glorious reopening of this amazing building later in the year.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!