Council awarded grants for vital repairs to its most cherished and historic buildings

March 16, 2021

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has been awarded grants from Heritage England for urgent maintenance and repairs to some of the Borough’s most cherished and historic buildings.

Southchurch Hall Museum, Prittlewell Priory Museum and Leigh Library are the buildings that will benefit from the grants after three successful expressions of interests were submitted to Heritage England’s COVID-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund.

Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “It’s fantastic news that Heritage England have awarded these grants to three of our most cherished and historic buildings.

“It means essential maintenance and repair works can be carried out to ensure these buildings reopen to the public and thrive once again having been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Southchurch Hall Museum, a Grade 1 listed moated manor house, is to receive a grant of £15,744 to cover the costs of inspecting the building’s frame, a specialist report on the chalk support, the make up of the infill panels, analysis of the paint used, cleaning and repairs to the guttering and the reinstatement of more appropriate flashing. Total costs will be £17,744.

Prittlewell Priory Museum, a Grade 1 listed building founded in the 11-12th century by the Cluniac Order as a cell to the Priory of St Pancras at Lewes, is to receive a grant of £23,297.

The grant will cover the costs of repairing the roof and the wall supporting it. Guttering and downpipes will be replaced and the barge board in the main hall will be repaired.  This supports the edge of the roof tiling which appears to be causing damage to the timber.

A full structural and condition survey will also be carried by a conservation accredited engineer to identify any other emergency works. Total costs will be £26,797.50.

Leigh Library is a Grade 2 early 19th century red brick house with blue brick headers built in 1838 as a rectory for St Clement’s Church. It is located in the Leigh-on-Sea Conservation Area.

A full condition survey was carried out and revealed that gutters, bargeboards and rotting windows were in urgent need of attention. Limited funds and the COVID-19 pandemic meant the repairs were put on hold. A grant of £20,000 means essential works can now resume.  Repairs will be made to the guttering and bargeboards, cleaning and redecorating of the gutters and downpipes. Total costs will be £29,810.00.

The Heritage England Fund had an initial budget of up to £3m but was heavily oversubscribed. An additional sum of £11m from the Culture Recovery Fund meant Historic England could expand the fund considerably and progress eligible applications.

Work on the three buildings will start in the coming weeks and is due for completion by 31 July 2021.


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