Astley Hall is set to reopen in the spring following its £1.1million renovation.
When it reopens, there will be an entrance fee to pay.
The proposed admission fees and longer opening hours will help support the long-term sustainability of one of Chorley’s most historic and defining attractions.
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Councilor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: ‘It is important that Astley Hall becomes more sustainable so that the revenue generated from admission fees will offset some of the costs of running the hall, the works maintenance needed in the future and help us continue to offer high-level exhibitions, events and other activities at the Hall.
“At the moment everyone in Chorley pays for the upkeep of the hall through council tax payments, and we think those who actually visit Astley Hall, many of whom are from outside Chorley, should make a reasonable direct contribution, as they would for other attractions across the UK.
“Introducing an entry fee will also help us manage visitor numbers and the impact of high visitor numbers on a building like this, helping to preserve the hall for future generations.
“Astley Hall has been gifted to the people of Chorley, so it’s about striking a balance to ensure the Hall is both accessible to residents and much more sustainable.
“With this in mind, we will be offering a reduced entry price for residents of Chorley and also longer opening hours to provide more opportunities to visit.
“The work on Astley Hall and the park over the past few years has made it a real tourist attraction for residents and those from further afield. With the renovated lobby, Coach House gallery, museum gift shop, cafe and local retailer in the courtyard, plus everything the park has to offer, like fantastic playgrounds, woodland walks, sports fields, it really offers a day’s worth.
Admission fees discussed at the recent full Council meeting included:
- £5 for an adult annual pass or £2.50 for a single adult visit for Chorley residents.
- £15 for an adult annual pass or £5 for a single adult visit for non-residents of Chorley.
- Discounted family passes, children’s tickets and discounts will also be available, with further details to be confirmed in due course.
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The Grade I listed building has been refurbished over the past two years, thanks to a £1.1million investment from Chorley Council, including the removal of exterior plaster to reveal the original brickwork , new and renovated windows at the front of the Hall, reinforcing the main staircase, the access ramp and the interior decoration.
The room upgrades also provide an opportunity to refresh the offering for weddings and other bookings.
The last works of the room consist of carrying out the last repairs inside the building before putting in place the new interpretation of the rooms and reintegrating all the furniture and collections that will be exhibited.
Drip sills will be added to the front elevations of the hall to avoid staining the newly exposed brickwork, and repairs to the roof of the chalet at the rear of the building will continue later in the year.
The visitor route around the hall is also reconfigured to both enhance the experience and give areas of the hall a break from heavy footfall.
The reopening of the room is scheduled for the spring, with a date to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
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