Chorley's Astley Hall set to reopen following £1m renovation

By Tim Aldred

25 Feb 2022

Astley Hall in Chorley is set to open its doors for the first time in more than two years as an extensive £1.1m renovation programme nears completion.

The work on the Grade I listed building includes removal of external render to reveal original brickwork, new and refurbished windows to the front of the Hall, strengthening the main staircase, accessibility ramp and interior redecoration. 

The last bit of work at the Hall is to make final repairs inside the building before putting in the new interpretation for the rooms and reinstating all the furniture and collections that will go on display. Drip sills will be added to the front elevations of the Hall to prevent staining of the newly exposed brickwork, and the repairs to the cottage roof at the rear of the building will continue later into the year.

Longer opening hours have been introduced, as well as a new admission fee, two measures which Chorley Council says will help to support the historic attraction's long-term sustainability.

The improvements to the Hall also provide an opportunity to refresh the offering for weddings and other bookings.

Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: "It’s important that Astley Hall becomes more sustainable, so the income generated from the admission fees will offset some of the costs of running the hall, maintenance work that is required in the future and help us continue with the high level offer of exhibitions, events and other activities at the hall.

"At the moment everyone in Chorley pays for the upkeep of the hall via Council Tax payments, and we think that 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. 

“Introduction of an admission fee will also help us manage visitor numbers and the impact that heavy visitor footfall has on a building like this, helping to preserve the hall for future generations." 

Admission fees discussed at the recent full Council meeting included £5 for an adult annual pass or £2.50 for a one-off adult visit for Chorley residents, and £15 for an adult annual pass or £5 for a one-off adult visit for non-Chorley residents. Discounted family passes, children’s tickets and concessions will also be available, with further details to be confirmed in due course.

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