Halsway Manor has taken a big step towards realising their plans to develop their facilities as a national centre for the folk arts, as West Somerset District Council have passed their planning application. Councillors were supportive of the scheme and commented on the quality of the consultation with local people during the preparation of the plans.
The Halsway Manor Society now plan to raise £4M in order to build a timber framed activity centre in woodland behind the manor, restore the historic manor, and add a new performance space. The aim of the scheme is to conserve the heritage of the manor and make the site more accessible for people of all ages and abilities to participate in a wide range of folk arts activities.
Established as an independent charity in 1965, Halsway Manor is a folk arts centre that provides courses, events and activities for everyone interested in traditional music, dance, song, storytelling, folklore, arts and crafts. Located in the Quantock Hills – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – in West Somerset, Halsway Manor has a fascinating history that goes back over 600 years. The Manor has a warm, friendly atmosphere, tranquil woods and gardens, great food, a bar, a range of overnight accommodation and camping in the grounds. The Kennedy Grant Library contains thousands of books and recordings of folklore, customs, traditional folk music, dance and song – an excellent resource for research and study.
Paul James, Chief Executive, says: “We are absolutely delighted that WSDC have passed our planning application. We can now launch our funding appeal and start the planning work to realise this exciting scheme which brings many benefits both for the preservation of the historic building and for anyone who wants to participate in folk arts courses, events and activities.”
Robin Williams, Chairman of Halsway Manor Society, adds: “This is wonderful news, and we’re grateful to all those who have contributed to the application with their advice and support. Next year Halsway Manor celebrates its Golden Jubilee – 50 years as a Folk Arts Centre – and now we can embark on the conservation and development work necessary to see Halsway Manor continue for another 50 years!”
For further information visit www.halswaymanor.org.uk