Oakwell Hall goes interactive with £300,000 of funding

Oakwell Hall. (D534B436)
Oakwell Hall. (D534B436)

Oakwell Hall will be revamped after plans to modernise the park got the go-ahead from English Heritage.

Kirklees Council’s Museums and Parks put in an application for work on the grade I listed building, which the executive public body granted on September 30.

Altogether just under £300,000 will be spent. Oakwell’s heritage manager Eric Brown said: “Expectations are a lot higher than they were in days gone past. To tell the story of the hall we’ll have more interactive displays with audio, and newer ways of engaging and attracting a new audience.

“You don’t want to destory the atmosphere – you want to enhance it.

“It’s just brilliant to be part of this time in Oakwell’s history and development.”

He added that it was also about sustainability and the hall’s long-term future.

The changes include upgrades to the visitor information centre, a new footpath between the car park and the shop entrance, and a canopy to the store’s front. The shop will also get a new entrance door and windows. A gate will be included and glazed screens added to the two barn doors.

Chairman of the Friends of Oakwell Park Roger Knights said: “It is absolutely marvllous news. It just goes to show what an asset to the community the Oakwell complex is. It’s 25 years since the site was really upgraded. A quater-of-a-million people every year go through that park. This is a really good vote of confidence. It is well-loved and well-attended.” The application for work was put in on May 29.