Christmas 2015

Dear All,

Merry Christmas from all the Alumni group.
We have two pieces of information, one of which is also a request.
Mark Finch of Rushbond has been in contact with the Alumni on a regular basis now and he would like to know what pieces of stonework/name boards are required to be kept from the Hostel Blocks.  By that, I mean the Grasshopper and Kings Head etc.  I think that without exception, we would like all the name boards and figurines, but there may be more?  If you think there is a feature that may not be obvious, could you let us know and we will investigate.  What we do with them when they are retrieved is for another time, but for now, we need to list specifics.  I will not answer everyone’s email personally, but will send out another email when we are complete.
The second piece of information has been written by Mark Finch himself.  This shows the commitment of the developers to engage and listen to our wishes within the bounds of their own development plan.  They are also keen to engage on a practical level.  An example of this was the offer by Pete Taylor to go back into the college with the planners and guide them around the pipes, nooks and crannies within the Hall.  Pete was the IT manager for several years and had to access all spaces for cabling etc.  I personally will be going in to talk through the possibility of a wood chip boiler to go alongside the existing boiler.  Anyway, here is his report:
Bretton Hall Estate – Update
This Note sets out a brief progress update on the creation of what will be a truly unique and unrivalled high quality hotel, conference and exhibition centre, set within the wonderful historic and cultural context of the Bretton Estate.  The masterplan will see Bretton Hall converted to form the centrepiece of the Project, offering a very special place to stay, within the wider landscape of the world-class Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Our recent acquisition of the site moves us a step closer to the realisation of these plans. In the immediate term, maintenance, repair and enablement works are being scheduled to and around the Mansion. These works will deal with specific building issues and are capable of being carried out prior to the main contract works. Advance ecological works have recently been undertaken and the next phase of these includes for a site-wide newt protection fence. This is planned early in the New Year along with the installation of a new culvert and bridge works – within the woodland area to the north-east of the Hall – paving the way for the extension of the existing road to link into the main Yorkshire Sculpture Park / Huddersfield Road access.
Our main objective is to be in a position to start the main works in the Spring and work is ongoing on the discharging of certain planning conditions alongside tender negotiations with contractors. The planning consent provides for an initial phase of works to include the conversion of the Hall alongside access and infrastructure works and the demolition of the residential blocks (with the salvaging of artefacts). We have also been considering the extension of this initial phase to include additional hotel accommodation within the Clegg Building and Stables Block with the Library being retained and used as a leisure, gym and cinema facility. The opportunity to incorporate the former Performing Arts Theatre and Victor Pasmore Studio (alongside selective demolition) as part of the composite conference and exhibition centre is also being considered – these options are being appraised in parallel with other activities as they may require future amendments to the consents.
The opportunity to provide a new place to stay, study and learn is we feel in many respects true and respectful to the overarching role that Bretton Hall has played over its history. We are keen to harness the energy, enthusiasm and affection of anybody within the Alumni Group that wishes to see how they could contribute to this unique Project. We will try our best to keep all up to date as the Project progresses and would be particularly pleased to provide a briefing at the Reunion in May.
Mark Finch
Director – Real Estate