Published: February 17, 2012
New owner of Burnham's Manor House plans £250,000 refurbishment

A historical building in Burnham-On-Sea formally changed hands on Friday (February 17th) when its new owners took over.

Burnham's Watermark Financial Solutions has bought the Manor House in the town's Manor Gardens and is to give the property a huge £250,000 refurbishment before it moves in later this year.

The firm's owner, Mark Woods, pictured, told Burnham-On-Sea.com on Friday: "We want to restore the building to its former glory and let residents be proud of it again."

The news comes after concerns were raised last year, first reported here, that the building was becoming a security risk due to increasing vandalism.

However Mr Woods said: "The rapid expansion of our business means that we require more space to enable us to continue to grow. We have looked at a range of possibilities but, frankly, there is very little suitable commercial property or land available in Burnham and Highbridge for offices."

"The apathy of Sedgemoor District Council and our local councillors - which is not conducive to attracting businesses of our kind to the area - almost led to us to move to Weston."

"However, I am delighted that we will be remaining in the town to develop our business and to create more local jobs over the next 10-15 years."

Watermark exchanged contracts on the building on Friday and completion is scheduled to take place on February 24th.

The firm plans to move out of its current premises at 62 The High Street into the Manor House over the summer, once a £250,000 refurbishment programme has been completed.

The firm will be renting out its existing premises in Burnham High Street after the move.

Mark added: "The Manor House has fallen into a state of disrepair and with continued vandalism has become a prominent eyesore."

"However, I hope that when the vandals realise that we are trying to build a special business in the town, which may provide them, their friends and families with good career prospects, that they may think twice before causing more damage and bring back a more secure environment to the area."

The Manor House and gardens were sold to Burnham Urban District Council in April 1904, then in 1974 Sedgemoor District Council took over the building for offices. The house was later sold in February 2000 to the Ashfield Trust, while the gardens remained in SDC's hands. But when the Ashfield Trust moved out in 2010, the building was put up for sale and had been on sale ever since.

 


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