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Buile Hill Mansion campaign gets funding boost after being crowned community ‘heroes’

9 September, 2021

A community campaign to restore Salford's historic Buile Hill Mansion has been given a welcome funding boost after being voted winners of the Springboard Heroes Awards.

Buile Hill Mansion Association are this year’s winner of the coveted award, organised by Salix Homes to recognise community groups and initiatives that are making a difference in neighbourhoods across Salford.

The project was one of four finalists in the community awards, with more than 1,200 votes cast by the public.

Buile Hill Mansion Association is a dedicated group of volunteers who work alongside Salford City Council with a vision to restore the historic Buile Hill Park Mansion and surrounding buildings and grounds and bring it back into public use.

The group plan to use the £1,000 prize money to continue with their restoration project of the Sensory Garden.

Jenni Smith, chair and funding lead at Buile Hill Mansion Association, said: “We’re thrilled to have been voted as this year’s Springboard Heroes winners and would like to thank everyone who voted for us. We’ll be using the money to continue our restoration of the Sensory Garden and to hold community events.

“The Sensory Garden was opened in the 1960s and was created to be a garden for park visitors with impaired senses. Sadly, over the decades, the garden has fallen into a poor condition due to lack of resources and investment.

“Our aim now is to restore the garden for the enjoyment of all but including those with sensory impairment or processing disorders. We’ll then be able to open up the garden for tours and sensory sessions for local families, schools and groups.”

From 1975 until 2000, Buile Hill Mansion was the home of the Lancashire Mining museum, but due to budget cuts, Salford Council made the decision to close the museum in 2000. The volunteer-led campaign has won support from Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett and MP Rebecca Long-Bailey.

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “The City Council have working closely with the Buile Hill Mansion Association and the wider community to develop and agree proposals to bring the mansion and depot area back into sustainable use. Those proposals are now at an advanced stage enabling us to share further details in the very near future.

“A huge congratulations goes to the Buile Hill Mansion Association for their hard work and dedication. This award is very much deserved.”

This year, we have awarded more than £33,000 to dozens of local groups and initiatives across Salford as part of our Springboard community grant programme, which provides much-needed cash injections to local projects that boost community spirit, promote health and wellbeing, reduce isolation and improve the environment.

Four of the projects we have supported over the year are entered into the annual Springboard Heroes Awards and given the chance to win a further £1,000 cash boost.

Sian Grant, Salix Homes executive director of operations, added: “We’re incredibly proud of our Springboard grant programme, which has provided a lifeline, particularly during the challenges of the pandemic, for many fantastic groups and projects, which are really making a difference in our communities.

“Huge congratulations to Buile Hill Mansion Association, which is a very worthy winner of our annual Springboard Heroes Awards, as voted by the public. It’s groups like this that make our communities so special, and we hope the cash prize will help the volunteers on their mission to reopen Buile Hill Mansion, which will have a huge benefit to the Salford community and beyond.

“All four of our finalists are heroes in our eyes, and this is our way of honouring some of the amazing work that people in Salford are doing day in, day out.”

Each of the runners-up, which includes Salford Litter Heroes, Bridgewater Residents Association and Salford Pride will each receive £100.