Top Level Access for Gorton Monastery
To the south east of Manchester City Centre is Gorton Monastery, a beautiful Grade II listed building providing a meeting place for the local community, as well as working as a wedding venue and tourist attraction.
The Gorton Trust was established to save and protect the Monastery of St Francis, which was in danger of disrepair before the trust was established in 1997. The long term goal was to renovate the building and allow for access to all levels so that the building could be enjoyed by all those visiting. The Trust was awarded a £2m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a £1m donation from the Stoller Charitable Trust to help fund the refurbishment. To coincide with the main building restoration, the basement level also underwent extensive works, including a requirement for a platform lift so that everyone could access the basement level.
Ability Lifts Ltd of Sheffield were approached by the main contractor for the project, to visit and advise if a lift could be fitted given the restricted headroom at basement level. The Optimum 100 Platform Lift was able to be fitted in to the space and Ability Lifts were chosen to supply and install the unit.
The final specification of the lift allowed for a fire door at the basement level and a glazed standard door at the top level which gave access to the Victorian Pantry, a vintage tea room complementing the Monastery. The Trust opted for a ramp at the lower level, which removed the need for excavating a 60mm pit that would be normally required.
The lift allows for the basement level to be reached by people with impaired mobility, whilst ensuring that local students can learn about Gorton Monastery in the spacious, well lit teaching rooms in the basement. Additional rooms in the friary basement have been converted into spaces for community arts, health, well-being and family learning.
The elegant design and quiet chain drive system of the Optimum 100 Platform Lift, made it the perfect choice for the Monastery. The lift requires a footprint of just 1250mm x 1560mm whilst still offering a fully compliant Part M platform size of 1120mm x 1480mm. No structural supports are required due to the load being transferred through the floor base.
To find out more about the Optimum 100 Platform Lift and other products in the range, please visit www.abilitylifts.co.uk or call our dedicated sales line on 0845 006 8803.