Conker has been assisting a local group in saving the unique and historic Westgate Hall from demolition. On 28 July 2011 Canterbury City Council agreed to save the building and grant a 99 year lease to the Westgate Community Trust. The hall will be preserved, refurbished and managed as a community centre.
Works have been on site since February 2014, with an anticipated opening date of October 2014. Works include a new roof covering placed on a new insulated sub-structure containing 300mm of sheep’s wool. This has allowed the original diagonal close boarding to the underside of the roof to be exposed and painted. New triple glazed roof lights have been installed to even out the daylight provision. All the original cast iron windows were either blocked up or painted out, so the hall had no natural daylight. All windows have now been restored, including the magnificent arched windows at each end.
The original hall, when in use as a drill hall, had three Victorian style roof vents, we have replaced these with the modern equivalent of an oast house vent, know sometimes as a wind catcher. These units are on rollers, so that they face away from the wind to extract stale air from the hall, whilst also having a small inlet which faces into the wind, introducing fresh air too.
Internally a new mezzanine floor is under construction, along with a new kitchen, lighting, heating and plumbing. The interior will remain simple and honest with bare brickwork painted. The parquet floor will be refurbished.