Empty Grade II-listed Eccles mansion in the middle of a park could become stunning new wedding venue

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Salford councillors have approved plans which will enable the restoration of Buile Hill Mansion which has been vacant since 2000.

A former mining museum is to be converted into a stunning new wedding venue.

Salford councillors have approved plans which will enable the restoration of Buile Hill Mansion in Eccles, a building which has been vacant since 2000 when The Mining Museum closed.

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Plans approved by the city council’s planning and transportation regulatory panel, also gave the green light to the demolition of outbuildings in the adjacent Buile Hill depot to create a car park.

However, campaigners in a group bidding to get one of the outbuildings, the Buile Hill Park greenhouse preserved and also restored at a cost of up to £1.75million wanted the glass structure excluded from the demolition plan.

Buile Hill Mansion was a wedding venue until the year 2000Buile Hill Mansion was a wedding venue until the year 2000
Buile Hill Mansion was a wedding venue until the year 2000

They are now in talks with landowners, the city council, over a way to preserve the building which dates back to 1930. Chair of Buile Hill Greenhouse Association, Doug Provos,  said the building was ‘saveable’ in an address to the committee.

“We think the retaining of the greenhouse won’t affect the plan,” he said, “although there may need to be some reworking of the drainage arrangements.”

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The Grade II-listed mansion dates back to 1825 and forms part of the weir Buile Hill Park, bounded by Eccles Old Road and Weaste Lane. The site also includes its private gardens as well as Buile Hill Park Hall – a function and banqueting hall.

In the mansion, there will be a cafe and bar and there will be external seating in the proposed Mansion Cafe Rose Garden.

The first floor would accommodate ceremony rooms, a circulation area, a community and staff rooms. The community room would be available for use by groups and other stakeholders. However, the plan to clad an external staircase of the building with polycarbonate material drew criticism.

Coun Bob Clarke said: “It’s nice to see the building brought back into use, but I’m concerned over the using plastic blocks, because they can get discoloured over time.”

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He also said he was ‘not happy’ that the greenhouse is included in the outbuildings for which there is now approval for them to be demolished. 

Meanwhile, Coun John Warmisham said: “I think we should give some praise and thanks to the various organisations who have tried to protect Buile Hill Mansion. They’ve done a superb job and that’s where we are today.”

And the Labour councillor joked that he ‘always hated’ to agree with his Conservative committee colleague Coun Clarke by saying: “I have some concerns about sticking a plastic carbuncle on the side of a listed building.”

Chair of the committee Coun Phil Cusack said that although the greenhouse was included in the outbuildings, it would not necessarily be demolished as part of the plan.

“What we are saying is that it can be demolished if decisions are made that it can’t be saved. Personally, I want the greenhouse retained as well.”

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