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Lytham Hall has undergone changes in its management structure following a review of governance at Heritage Trust for the North West.

Trustee John Turner, who manages the vast Lonsdale Estates in Cumbria, explained these to a packed meeting of staff and volunteers on Tuesday 12th September.

He gave a detailed presentation outlining HTNW’s future for the hall. He announced to the room the retirement of John Miller as Project Director to Lytham Hall after two decades. Mr Turner, who will be the new Project Director, acknowledged and paid tribute to John Miller’s years of hard work and thanked him for his dedication to the Lytham Hall project.

Mr Turner then went on to reveal plans for an independent Lytham Hall Foundation. This new charitable trust will form and ensure that all donations and grants to the hall will be paid into this account, and only dispersed exclusively for projects and restoration at Lytham Hall itself. The new foundation already has five local members/trustees and will demonstrate complete transparency with regard to financing any future works at the Grade 1 listed mansion.

He announced the appointments of new trustees to improve the diversity and skill-set at HTNW. These trustees included an international banker, a curator specialising in fundraising and development of large scale heritage projects, and also a consultant with over 30 years’ experience in the arts and cultural sectors; recently working in a senior management role with the Arts Council of England.

Finally, John Turner revealed the appointments of the Hall’s new General Manager to be Peter Anthony, and his Deputy Manager Paul Lomax.

John said “We are delighted to appoint these positions to Peter and Paul who have shown total commitment over their last two years at the Hall. Their work ethic and entrepreneurial qualities have transformed the hospitality and catering operation, and exceeded all expectations in a very short while. Their CV’s and business experience speak for themselves and our board of trustees were delighted to unanimously offer them promotion into these new roles.”

Mr Turner also expressed his huge gratitude to the boundless enthusiasm and hard work of the Hall’s many volunteers and urged everyone to unite and embrace the new changes taking place.

Peter Anthony, the new General Manager spoke of his passion and involvement with the Hall over the last several years. He said “When myself and Paul were in business Lytham Hall was our chosen charity and together we raised thousands to help safeguard its future. This Hall is the single most important and the only Grade 1 listed building here in Fylde. Its significance is therefore paramount for future generations to enjoy. There is no doubt about it, it gets under your skin in a way you can’t shrug off. I know how devoted I am to the place, and I know how many others are too. I want us all to work together to achieve great things collectively. I’m a great believer that the glass has to be half full and never half empty. I don’t accept the word ‘can’t’, I only embrace the word – ‘how?’. I love a challenge, we have seen the immense success of the catering here and I intend to distribute that success throughout the entire team.”

Peter paid tribute to Activity plan officer Marianne Blaauboer. She had asked HTNW for a 4-month sabbatical leave. On behalf of everyone at the Hall Peter thanked her for her work and wished her all the very best.

Speaking later Peter said – “The Hall is a hive of activity at the moment with many rolling repairs completed or underway. I have appointed a building maintenance manager, Austin Grady, who is making weekly reports of essential repairs and putting them right. We have recently painted and restored part of the North elevation of the Hall and have been colour testing different panels. Mr Nigel Leaney from Lincoln is a historic paint consultant and John Carr expert, and has visited the Hall on numerous occasions recently. Nigel has discovered its original colour scheme and has been working closely with local painter Paul Wilkinson. The pair are currently working on a specification and Listed Building Consent for painting the entire Georgian Hall which will follow imminently”

“Paul Wilkinson has also been doing paint and preparation workshops with volunteers, these are currently giving the Jacobean courtyard a facelift. This coincides with retired professional joiners repairing and replacing windows. The grounds volunteers continue to work hard on new paths, essential tree maintenance, the kitchen garden, and I myself am embarking on a general programme of ornamental projects around the site. The Friends of Lytham Hall are constantly raising money to help fund goods, and I would like to thank them for their recent purchase of over 100 banqueting chairs for our West Wing. There is a fantastic community spirit here at Lytham Hall which I intend to nurture”.

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