Gorton Monastery Welcome Wing is Now Complete
The new £3m Welcome Wing at Gorton Monastery in Manchester is now open, enabling community and learning activities to take place every day alongside the Monastery’s commercial function as an events venue.
The eco-friendly 6,650 sq. ft. building was commissioned by The Monastery of St Francis & Gorton Trust, the charity that saved and restored the existing Grade II* buildings and is now responsible for the upkeep of this heritage asset. The project, which took 12 months to complete, was made possible by a National Lottery grant of almost £2million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), together with a £1million donation from the Stoller Charitable Trust.
The new building provides flexible, purpose-designed and carbon-neutral space, allowing the Trust to expand and extend its facilities and projects for the local community and general visitors, while continuing to host corporate and private events.
This new front wing sits on the footprint of an original building that was taken down in the 1960s. It has been carefully designed to seamlessly connect the modern building to the 150 year-old E.W. Pugin-designed former Church and Friary.
Elaine Griffiths, Chief Executive of the Monastery Trust said: “This is a tremendously exciting day for us. This new building blends beautifully with the church and friary and we are delighted with the result. We also love how it is flooded with light, making this a fantastic space for both community and corporate events. This has been the biggest investment we have made in the building since we completed the major £6.5 million restoration work to save the Monastery ten years ago and it’s wonderful to see it finished.”
Nathan Lee, Head of HLF North West, said: “We’re delighted to see the new Welcome Wing at Gorton Monastery open its doors to the public and hugely grateful to the National Lottery players who have made this possible. Thanks to HLF support, the Monastery Trust has been able to carry out urgent conservation work and create this fantastic new space for the local community, celebrating the monastery’s history and making it sustainable for the future.”
The Monastery is widely regarded as Manchester’s most unique and inspiring events venue. Its flexible space accommodates up to 450 people and is ideal for events from product launches and corporate celebrations to weddings and large social occasions. For smaller, more intimate occasions, the Private Chapel can hold up to 50 people and is perfect for private dining or small business events.
The Welcome Wing will provide additional and flexible space that will include a new reception area, space for functions, exhibition materials and a community space with dedicated education room as well as health and well-being facilities. Alongside the new build the Trust will continue the work begun in 2005, to restore and conserve important artefacts and features within the Great Nave including areas around the altar and reredos, the Lady Altar, plus original paint and stencil schemes, floor tiles and stone carvings.
Credits: As with all our Eco Arc projects completing the Welcome Wing at was team effort and the successful outcome could not have been achieved without the following key players in the project.
Elaine Griffiths, Chief Executive of the Monastery Trust
David Ellis and Melanie Thomas from Earth Wise
Project management services to Burofour (& photo credits)
Project Conservation design services to Alan Gardner
Structural engineering deigns to Corbett and Tasker Ltd. www.corbett-tasker.com
Services design to Ramboll www.ramboll.co.uk
QS services to Apple Yard & Trew www.appleyardandtrew.com
Main contractor was HHS with specialist conservation works by Hirst.