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News Release - Issued by City of York Council

Mansion House opens its doors for consultation

City of York Council will hold a consultation weekend on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 June in the historic Mansion House offering visitors the chance to have their say on the proposed Mansion House restoration project.

The weekend will unveil details of the ‘Opening Doors’ project which is designed to develop a unique and dynamic visitor experience. This project looks to improve the display of the gold and silver collection, reduce the carbon footprint of the building and restore the 18th century kitchens. This event will provide residents and visitors with an opportunity to contribute to the developing proposals and the architects, will be on hand to discuss the proposed designs.

The event comes after council announced in March that De Matos Ryan had been appointed as architects for the project, after it received development funding of £76,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The completed plans will be sent to the HLF in November with a decision on a full grant expected to be made in early 2015.

Throughout the weekend, there will also be a range of family-friendly activities for all ages, including cooking demonstrations with original recipes available, as well as seal and hat-making activities based on the ceremonial and historical traditions in the Mansion House.

As well as the numerous activities, the new Lord Mayor and Civic Party will be present to welcome visitors to the house and volunteers will be available to discuss the building’s rich history. Previously unseen areas of the Mansion House will also be open to visitors including the Blue Room and a hidden room in the building.

Visitors will also have the chance to see the Grand Départ trophy, which will be on display in the Mansion House for the whole weekend ahead of York hosting stage two of the Tour De France on Sunday 6 July.

Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing, Deputy Leader of City of York Council said: “This promises to be a fascinating day for residents and visitors who, as well as having the chance to speak on future plans of the Mansion House, will be able to enjoy cooking demonstrations and previously unseen areas of the Mansion House. Over almost 300 years, this beautiful building has witnessed many significant events and welcomed many Lord Mayors and Sheriffs. This project looks to help us move further towards the most comprehensive restoration of the Mansion House since its completion in 1732 and it will be interesting to hear the views of visitors about the potential improvements.”

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 this July.


Notes to editors

The four main areas of the ‘Opening Doors’ project involve restoring the 18th century 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.

Heritage Lottery Fund: Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 36,000 projects with more than £6bn across the UK including £440m to over 3,100 projects in Yorkshire & the Humber alone.

The council’s five key priorities for 2011-2015 are:

· Create jobs and grow the economy

· Get York moving

· Build strong communities

· Protect vulnerable people

· Protect the environment

·The council’s cabinet member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Services is Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing on 07761460134

For further information please contact:

Andrew Harrison

Communications & Media Apprentice

City of York Council

Tel: 01904 552022

Fax: 01904 551064

Mob/out of hours: 07767318082