Resuscitating historic homes and buildings – to provide new locations and new sources of income

A number of mansions and large stately homes, and the properties and land which surround them, are seeking alternative uses as they are no longer deemed viable as purely residential, due to expensive running and maintenance costs.

Diversification can bring these properties back to life and create new exciting locations for private and public use, whilst generating a new source of income for the owner.

Bidwells has worked on many such projects, taking into account the houses themselves as well as the outbuildings, barns and land which surround them. This process starts with a desktop study researching the history, planning and location of the property. We then undertake a thorough walk around the property whilst engaging with the owner/manager to fully understand their aims and objectives.

The next stage is largely a brainstorming exercise, using previous experience and up to date knowledge of the appropriate markets to comprise a list of all possible alternative uses, including retail, public events, private use, corporate hire, weddings, private dining and accommodation, café/restaurant,  bed & breakfast, garden centre etc.

To avoid a 'scattergun' approach these potential uses are narrowed down to the most appropriate options, which fit in with our client's objectives and also take into consideration local market demand, location, layout of the property, neighbouring properties and planning policy. The recommended options are then evaluated fully to estimate projected likely income and to clearly set out the steps to successful implementation.

Bidwells has assisted from start to finish on a number of projects, transforming numerous property types, from barns to stately homes, into new, exciting and prosperous locations. Success is attributable to a multidisciplinary approach, utilising expertise from our Planning, Rural and Building teams. We can also draw knowledge and supporting information from our Heritage team, which is an exciting new addition to Bidwells. Furthermore, we have strong relationships with third party operators who can offer expertise and/or funding to deliver successful projects or, where the project will be delivered in hand, provide invaluable support and market knowledge.

Please click on the buttons below to see a couple of our completed projects which go live this summer. These include Goodnestone Park and its transformation into a new location for private accommodation, weddings and corporate hire, and Bressingham Hall which is now supported by its part conversion into private accommodation and conversion of the 19th Century barn within its grounds into a stunning wedding venue.


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