£1.2m funding to ‘open doors’ in historic Mansion House

City of York Council has welcomed the award to help improve access, displays and conservation at the Mansion House.

The HLF has granted £1,198,700 to support the ‘Opening Doors’ project which looks to give the historic building a more financially secure future, get more people involved in learning at the Georgian town house, and make it easier for more people to visit. This funding follows the agreement for City of York Council to invest £736,000 to support the project at a Cabinet meeting in February.

The four main areas of the ‘Opening Doors’ project involve restoring the original kitchens; improving displays, conservation and access to the civic collection of gold and silver ware; developing an integrated environmental and conservation plan for the structure; and preparing an oral history project, involving people past and present with a connection to the building.

The funding will also allow the building to be open to residents and visitors for longer. Once the restoration work is completed the Mansion House will open to the public five days a week as opposed to the three days a week it is open currently.

Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, deputy leader of City of York Council, said: “For almost 300 years, this historic building has witnessed many significant events and welcomed many Lord Mayors and Sheriffs as well as visitors. This funding will bring about the most comprehensive restoration of the Mansion House since its completion in 1732. This is great news for the city and will open the Mansion House up to more residents and visitors who will be able to learn more about the building’s heritage and for the first time allow them to view the stunning collections the house holds.”

Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and The Humber, said: “The Mansion House is a building of national significance and this restoration will reveal its true Georgian splendour to visitors.”

The Mansion House is a focal point for the local community, hosts numerous civic and community events and was the first purpose-built house for a Lord Mayor in the country. Since then it has been used for celebrations, business, civic events and announcements, including welcoming Her Majesty the Queen in April 2012 as part of the York 800 celebrations, and announcing that York will host the Grand Départ of the Tour de France last July.

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