Author: crystal johnson

LSI soon to open for business


We are in the last phase of the building and commissioning work and are pleased to announce that we are planning to open our doors for business on 19th February.

We will start to take bookings for our meeting rooms and hotdesks within the next few weeks, and full details will be on our new website, together with an online booking system to ensure a quick and easy way to reserve a desk.

In the meantime, we’ll be very happy to discuss our facilities and to register reservations. Please email for more information.

We have one event which is being run prior to our official opening – a very valuable workshop on Grants and Funding Applications being run by the Dorset Growth Hub. This is a free workshop for Dorset Businesses and you can register here:

Project Update



The Bridport Area Development Trust (BADT) is pleased to announce that the restoration of the Literary and Scientific Institute (LSI) building at 51 East Street will be substantially complete by Christmas. Following the opening of the pavement to the public last week, the contractor reinstated the roadway on Sunday 17th December permitting the resumption of normal traffic and parking in East Street. There will remain some external work to complete in the New Year whilst the Trust embarks on the fitting out of public spaces ready for opening and business in February.

The Bridport Area Development Trust – a group of local volunteers – has been working for many years to restore this much-loved building at the heart of our town and to bring it back into community use, after a period of neglect since 1997.

The Trust is extremely grateful to the town and, in particular, to our neighbours for their patience and we regret the inconvenience they have borne while we bring this valuable building back to life for the benefit of the community.

First occupants

In the meantime, we are delighted to welcome to the building as our first occupants, located on the first and mezzanine floors. An established Bridport business, as well as being the UK’s leading crowdfunding platform, Crowdfunder helps projects to raise the funds that they need by connecting them with their communities. Their expertise in making ideas happen makes them an ideal partner for the LSI, enhancing its aspiration to support economic growth in the town.

Local creativity

Local artists, craftspeople and other specialists have collaborated with us to produce some of the furniture and displays in the building, and we look forward to engaging with the town on future initiatives.

What the LSI will offer

The website is being updated, and the current version has recent photos of progress in the building as well as a description of the facilities that will be on offer. There will be ten hotdesks for hire in the Workhub, which is in a lovely skylit room accessed across a bridge over the glass-covered courtyard. The desks and chairs are ergonomically designed, and hirers will have access to lockable storage and a high quality copier, which prints, scans and faxes.

We have already had some enquiries about these workstations and will be providing information on the tariffs very soon.

There will be a training room and a meeting room, both with 65” interactive screens, teleconferencing facilities, AV equipment and high speed broadband. The larger room seats up to 30 people and will be suitable for training, workshops and presentations. The smaller room is for 10 people and will be useful for all types of meetings. The rooms will be interconnected, so that the smaller room can serve as a break-out space, and catering will be provided by our café.

There will be a café, which will be open to the public as well as the business users, and a lovely glass-covered courtyard.

For further information, please contact Michele Morgan at



The building work at the LSI is progressing well and the spaces in the building are looking great.

Minerva is above, restored to her former glory.

And below is the front entrance being restored, and the view from the top floor office space.


The café floorboards have been turned over, neatly plugged and are now being sanded.


There is a now bridge from the front building to the workhub in the rear building, above the courtyard. Here’s the
beautiful copper piping – shame it has to be covered!


The courtyard wall to the west side has beautiful brick and slate work, and cantilevered stone steps.


The concrete steps to the front door are being replaced by portland stone and the
curbstones to take the railings are of the same material.






Melplash Show


Come and visit our stand at the Melplash Show in the Bridport Marquee near the Main Ring, and have a chat with us about what’s happening at the Literary and Scientific Institute.

Project Update



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!

Summer Reception at Mappercombe – THIS WEEKEND!



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 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).



A talk by the UK’s most senior judge!


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.




Colourful developments


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.

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The front roof isn’t far behind.  Now the interior scaffolding has been removed the new first floor mezzanine is starting to take shape.

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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

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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?

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Artist opportunity at LSI


kabina-emesa-model-ch01-1-237x300 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


Dust and steel


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.

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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!)

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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.

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