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EN­TRY TO TRANS­FORMED LAND­MARK BUILD­ING WILL BE FREE FOR EV­ERY­ONE

Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - By PAUL COATES

EN­TRY to the his­toric Gor­ton Monastery is go­ing to be free for ev­ery­one.

It comes af­ter the open­ing of a new £3m Wel­come Wing. Rooms in the fri­ary base­ment have also been con­verted into ar­eas for the com­mu­nity to get in­volved in the arts, health and to pro­mote well-be­ing.

There is now also a new per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing the story of The Monastery. This month also sees the 21st an­niver­sary of when cam­paign­ers be­gan the long bat­tle to save the land­mark build­ing.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Elaine Grif­fiths said: “We’re de­lighted that our mod­ern-day monastery is open to both the com­mu­nity and gen­eral vis­i­tors as well as for spe­cial events.

“We have al­ways in­tended to of­fer free ad­mis­sion to lo­cal res­i­dents and mem­bers of com­mu­nity groups, but want as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to en­joy this amaz­ing space as of­ten as pos­si­ble.

“With free en­try and free park­ing, we are hop­ing peo­ple will visit us and sup­port our work. It is now pos­si­ble for ev­ery­one to dis­cover the magic of the monastery.

“Vis­i­tors will ex­pe­ri­ence one of the best gift shops they will ever have seen, with a de­light­ful ar­ray of nos­tal­gia, quirky sou­venirs and unique items spe­cially crafted for the trust. Next to the shop is the de­light­ful Vic­to­rian Pantry, with freshly pre­pared food served on vin­tage china.”

The Monastery is open from 11am un­til 4pm ex­cept Satur­days, when it is usu­ally closed for wed­dings. Elaine said: “To en­sure the best ex­pe­ri­ence, book ahead for a for­mal talk or tour. The sto­ries you will hear about the monastery’s in­cred­i­ble jour­ney will make your visit an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The monastery is also look­ing for vol­un­teers to help in­crease com­mu­nity use of the fa­cil­i­ties. Roles in­clude front-of-house greeters, tour guides and shop vol­un­teers.

Vol­un­teer re­cruit­ment days will be run next month. Email vol­un­teers @ the­monastery.co.uk with your name and tele­phone num­ber.

Gor­ton Monastery’s new Wel­come Wing

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