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Restoring architectural jewel to its former glory

Posted onPosted on 21st May

Work to restore an important architectural jewel in Mansfield’s crown has begun.

The Brunts Charity’s £530,000 six-month renovation programme at The Brunts Chambers buildings, on Leeming Street and Toothill Lane, will cover seven retail units and offices.

The work will restore the building and individual units to their original character, involving the renovation or replacement of existing shopfronts, alongside external refurbishment of the front façade of the building.

Materials and repair methods will be in keeping with the Grade II listed building, which was erected by the trustees of charity on the site of the home of Rowland Dand, the grandfather of Samuel Brunts, who set up the charity in 1711 and whose statue can be seen on front of the building.

It is part of Mansfield Townscape Heritage Project, which is managed by Mansfield District Council’s regeneration team.

The project aims to help property owners in the town centre to renovate rundown buildings in a way that is sympathetic with their historic and architectural attributes, by offering grants towards the work.

The scheme at The Brunts Chambers was awarded a grant of £306,624 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with The Brunts Charity funding the remaining costs.

Paul Williams, chief executive of the charity, which provides more than 150 almshouse properties in Mansfield, said: “As custodians of this wonderful charity, trustees and staff cannot wait to see this historical building restored back to its former glory.

“The building is in a key location in Mansfield and we hope the works will have a positive effect on this part of the town centre, while securing the longevity of the building for years to come.”

Coun Stuart Richardson, portfolio holder for Regeneration and Growth, said: “Mansfield town centre has many architectural gems, but over the years they may have lost a bit of their gleam.

“The townscape project aims to make them shine again and we would urge owners to take advantage of this short window of opportunity to invest in restoring these buildings with the help of some very generous grants on offer.”

Grants of up to 70% of eligible conservation works are available to certain properties on Leeming Street, the Market Place, and part of Stockwell Gate. The project was due to have ended this year, but because the pandemic interrupted the scheme it has been extended to December 2025.

As well as improvements to privately-owned buildings, the scheme has included facelifts to public areas in the town centre, such as the Bentinck Memorial being cleaned in 2019.

Another element is to encourage people to gain a greater understanding of the historic environment surrounding them through hands-on heritage focused activities, events, and training opportunities. Details of a proposed extension to the community engagement programme are set to be announced.

Property owners can email [email protected] for more information and to check eligibility or call the council regeneration team on 01623 463369.