7:00am Thursday 28th February 2013
By Chris Griffin
A COUNCILLOR is aiming to spearhead a renewed drive to save a decaying listed building in Timperley.
There has been uncertainty over the future of Watling Gate for a number of years - and the condition of the 109-year-old building in Newton Park has continued to deteriorate.
Three years ago, a report by Heritage Trust for the North West (HTNW) concluded that the cost of repairing the council-owned buidling would top £1m.
HTNW hold a licence from Trafford Council to explore the options to restore the building and secure its future use.
Now Cllr Jacki Wilkinson has called a public meeting for next week with the aim of setting up a Save Watling Gate group.
The building has remained unoccupied since a nursery attached to Park Road Primary School closed about eight years ago.
The proposed Save Watling Gate group could bid for heritage funding and draw up an action plan to save the building.
Cllr Wilkinson said: “I have been deeply saddened by the deterioration of this vandal plagued building since it lost its purpose as a nursery school.
"Time is rapidly running out for Watling Gate." She appealed to residents to join the planned group:
"I know many of you will say ‘we have been here before’, but as someone who has lived in this vicinity for almost 30 years, I implore you to set aside the past and give this much loved local building a last chance.
"I know it may seem an impossible task - but with your help I believe we can do it."
She added: "With a small team of residents, I have leafleted around 1,000 homes and hope to have a good turnout at the public meeting to get this project started.
"Local support is essential to securing funding and we hope to get some willing volunteers from the meeting to take the project forward with Heritage Trust for the North West.
"Anyone who would like to join us, but cannot attend the meeting can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com "
The public meeting is being held at 7.30pm on Wednesday, March 6 at Timperley Taverners, Park Road, Timperley. All welcome.
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