Historic Gloucester building to stand alone for ahead of big lottery bids
PLANS to secure the future of the historic Llanthony Secunda Priory have been rubber-stamped.
City councillors have agreed to give up their right to buy back the historic building for just £1 from the trust that runs it.
They have also given up Gloucester City Council's rights to use the building, off Priory Road, for up to 20 days per year.
It means the trust has complete control over it and as such can apply for a major slice of lottery cash to do it up and help it fund itself.
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Council bosses said that the time was right for the handover of the rights after the restoration of the Grade-I listed priory had 'come a long way in recent years'.
Leader Paul James said: "This is an important building to us but we can't and shouldn't own every historic building in the city.
"It has come a long way in recent years. Before the Gloucester Quays redevelopment it was surrounded by a sea of dereliction and really wasn't in the best of settings.
"It was transferred to the trust back in 2007 and it has shown its competence. It is now a mature trust, made up of very capable people."
The trust failed in a bid to secure more than £3million from the Heritage Lottery Fund in July and a re-submitted bid will be assessed by November. If it gets the money, it can restore and rent out the medieval barn.
Neighbouring Gloucestershire College, which helps maintain the site, is said to be interested in taking on the tenancy.
Cabinet members at the city council approved the final transfer on Wednesday night.
Councillor Colin Organ (C, Tuffley) said: "This is one of our gems.
"We can't own every building in Gloucester. It would be nice, but we don't need to. If something goes wrong with the trust we have certain powers to step in."
Hugh Worsnip, of Gloucester Civic Trust, said: "We would like to see public access throughout this wonderful building, which has been hidden for many years."