Birstall’s Oakwell Hall to close areas for major changes

Oakwell Hall. (D534C436)
Oakwell Hall. (D534C436)

Major works to Oakwell Hall will spruce up the award-winning venue this month, meaning some areas will temporarily close.

Changes to the grade I listed former Elizabethan manor, in Nutter Lane, Birstall, are aimed to create a more interactive experience.

The Visitor Centre will close completely on Sunday, and work is expected to last until the end of March 2015.

Updates include interactive panels telling the story of the hall, a refurbishment of the toilet block and an information point in the shop.

New lighting will be placed in the barn and the entrance from the courtyard will get a new door and glazing, which is hoped to provide more natural light and shelter.

Coun Peter O’Neill, Kirklees Cabinet Member for Communities and Leisure, said: “We regret having to close the Visitor Centre’s well-used facilities for such a long time and appreciate the impact on visitors but it is necessary in terms of health and safety and to make sure work progresses on schedule.

“When the new facilities are in place I am sure visitors will agree it was worth all the upheaval.”

“Expectations are much higher among visitors and venue hirers now, especially couples who choose to hold their wedding here. These improvements will surpass expectations, I’m sure, and provide greater opportunities for everyone who visits.”

The work got the go-ahead after £300,000 in grants from Arts Council England, Kirklees Council, local companies and the Friends of Oakwell Hall.