Sir Norman digs up a million for monastery

Date published: 29 February 2016

OLDHAM businessman and philanthropist Sir Norman Stoller performed a ground-breaking ceremony at Gorton Monastery to mark the start of a £3million building project.

The eco-friendly, 6,650 sq ft Welcome Wing has been made possible through a £1million donation from the Stoller Charitable Trust and a grant of almost £2million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Monastery of St Francis & Gorton Trust, the charity responsible for the EW Pugin-designed former church and friary, is building a new front wing for the 150-year-old Grade II listed buildings, on the footprint of an original building taken down in the 1960s

It will allow the Trust to extend its facilities for the local community and general visitors, while continuing to host corporate and private events. With building work expected to be completed this year, the Welcome Wing should open in early 2017.

Sir Norman said: “Gorton Monastery is widely regarded as a jewel in the crown of Manchester’s rich heritage. The Stoller Charitable Trust is proud to assist in completing the restoration of this architectural masterpiece.”

Elaine Griffiths, chief executive of the Monastery Trust said: “We are immensely grateful for the generous support of the Stoller Charitable Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund and other donors.”