Approval has been granted on plans to restore the ballroom at Grade II listed Stretford Public Hall.
Stretford Public Hall was built in 1878 for the community by the philanthropists, John and Enriqueta Rylands. During the century that followed, the building served a variety of roles including as a public library, public baths, a theatre, and council offices.
By 2014, the Hall stood empty and was about to be put up for sale. The Friends of Stretford Public Hall, a member-owned charitable organisation led by local residents, then stepped forward to save the Hall and successfully secured the freehold of the building from Trafford Council in 2015. Since then, the Friends have been fundraising and developing plans to restore the Hall to its former glory and enhance its use as a community asset.
The ‘Ballroom Transformation Project’ is the second major programme of work to be delivered at the Hall and will involve the complete restoration of the Victorian ballroom. The project will create a multi-functional space which can be used for a wide range of events and activities including theatre, live music, weddings and conferences.
The approved plans will see the reinstatement of lost historic fabric, as well as sensitive interventions that will allow the space to cater to modern day requirements.
This includes the reinstatement of a historic opening between the landing to the principal staircase and the anterooms to the south east corner of the first floor of the Hall, along with the removal of intrusive, non-historic partitions. Additional bar facilities will be provided and a new lighting system will be installed.
Within the anterooms a new toilet and storage facility will be created and the ballroom will also undergo general redecoration.
Neal Charlton, Director at Buttress, said: “Stretford Public Hall has been an important local asset for almost 150 years and this decision marks a major step forward in securing its long term future. The works will restore and enhance the building’s heritage while furthering its offer to the community.”