£450,000 fundraising campaign for new heritage hub
By David Wood | 19th July 2023
Cheltenham Civic Society (CCS) has launched a fundraising campaign to create a new heritage hub in the town.
CCS is seeking to raise £450,000 extra funding for the refurbishment and restoration of the society's new building 'Parmoor' at 26 Cambray Place.
CCS is set to embark on the restoration of Parmoor using the residual funds from the sale of its former building in Montpellier - which was a gift from Lord Parmoor in 1964.
But to achieve all of its ambitions, the society needs to raise an additional £450,000 to restore some of the building's original features that were damaged by fire in 1926, create a new forecourt with an accessible ramp, and fully equip the building for use as a heritage hub.
The proposed work includes the reinstatement of the Regency frontage by replacing the extensively patched existing render with stone ashlar.
CCS also wishes to radically change the current tarmac forecourt to an attractively landscaped garden with railings and provision of a drop-off and loading space. The plans for this feature a curved ramp leading up to give level access to the front door.
The building will also need equipping with everything from chairs for the meeting spaces, to audio-visual facilities for audiences of up to 100 people.
In its fundraising campaign, CCS will be seeking donations from the public, its members and a variety of regional and national funding bodies.
CCS chair Andrew Booton said: "Our aim for the heritage hub is to make Parmoor the place for the town's many voluntary groups, 'Friends' organisations, students and others to meet. We believe that Parmoor will rapidly become the town's centre of excellence for education and debate on local heritage and history.
"In this way, Lord Parmoor's original gift to the civic society will really be made to blossom by spreading its benefits much wider and generating a long-lasting resource for the wider community."
The new venue at Parmoor will provide versatile space that will seat nearly 100 people, with supporting facilities including a separate meeting room, toilets and a refreshment area, plus an office for CCS.
Four independently accessed apartments on the lower ground and first floors will also secure a long-term income stream for CCS.
Mr Booton added: "These facilities will give the civic Society a significant presence in the town centre and the secure income stream will enhance our ability to support heritage and other campaigns and activities in the future."
If planning permission is granted later this month, it is anticipated that building work will commence in the next few months.
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