PROGRESS is being made on the redevelopment of Portsmouth’s Wymering Manor.
The Wymering Manor Trust, which owns the historic building, wants architects to carry out a survey to determine what it can be used for.
It’s hoped the assessment will lead to parts of the Grade II listed manor in Old Wymering Lane being used as a community centre, bed and breakfast and office space.
As previously reported in The News, the trust took over from the city council in January and as part of the deal it was given £30,000 towards initial bills.
The trust, which has nine board members, needs to raise about £16,000 for the ‘options appraisal’ survey.
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who is the trust’s chairwoman, is calling on residents to suggest ideas.
‘It’s very important that we are led by the community on this,’ she said.
‘We did a big consultation and people were very keen on it being a community centre type facility.
‘They didn’t want it to be an events area because it’s situated in a residential area and it would end up being too noisy. We are looking at potential options on the first floor and a bit of space could be used for charities and social enterprise businesses.
‘We have also discussed the potential of having a bed and breakfast on the second floor.’
The trust hopes The Architectural Heritage Fund will contribute half of the cash for the survey.
But it could cost in excess of £1m to completely renovate the building and bring it back into use.
Money will be raised at a May fun fayre on the grounds of the manor on Sunday.
There will be live music, a bouncy castle and games at the event, which will be held from noon until 3pm.
Ms Mordaunt said: ‘The building has so much potential because of the way it is constructed and where it is situated.
‘It’s a wonderful building.
‘What we want to ensure is that it will have a life there that the community will use and take care of.’
Ms Mordaunt says she will step down once she feels confident the trust is in a strong position.
‘That will happen when I think the trust and when the trustees are in a very secure place,’ she said. ‘I am very aware that starting something off like this can be daunting.’
The manor is considered one of the most haunted properties in the UK and much of the structure that stands today dates from the 16th century.