Fylde MP’s call for release of Lytham Hall Heritage Lottery audit report

The operators of Lytham Hall should release a report into why it lost its Heritage Lottery funding, says Fylde MP Mark Menzies.

Mr Menzies met with the head of the region’s Heritage Lottery Fund to discuss its decision to rescind a £1.7m Lottery grant awarded to the Grade I-listed Georgian mansion.

The newly-appointed head of the Lottery organisation’s North West region, Nathan Lee, revealed the organisation cannot release an auditor’s report into the matter due to it being about a commercial third party – but said he would like to see it published by the hall’s operators, the Heritage Trust North West.

Funding for the hall’s much-needed restoration was withdrawn after it emerged the capital works for which the cash was earmarked had not taken place.

Mr Menzies said: “I met with Mr Lee and discussed a number of ongoing projects, including the successful bid for Lottery funding at Fairhaven Lake.

“However, Lytham Hall was the main subject of conversation.

“I called for the organisation to make public the Moore Stephens report.

“Mr Lee made it clear that the Heritage Lottery Fund has no objections to the report being made public. But on legal grounds, as the report is about a commercial third party – the Heritage Trust North West – it cannot release it.

“However, there is nothing to stop the Heritage Trust North West from releasing the report, and the Lottery organisation has urged it to do so.

“With Fylde Council putting some £300,000 of taxpayers’ money into the hall, with all of the volunteers’ goodwill, with all of the donations of time and money that have been made, it is vital that the report is released.

“The Heritage Trust North West must be transparent to win back the trust of the people who have dedicated their time and money to the project.

“It has yet to disclose the contents of the report to Lytham Town Trust, which owns the building, and that is unacceptable.”

The £1.7m grant was part of a £5.9m project to restore the hall to its previous grandeur, but the plans had to be scaled back as some of the funding failed to materialise.

Fylde Council also called the hall’s operators to a meeting to question them over the lost Lottery grant.

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