The Cotswolds Conservation Board has submitted a first-round application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help secure the future of the grade II* listed Old Prison at Northleach.

The 18th century Old Prison, owned by Cotswold District Council and due to be put up for sale in the next few weeks, houses the new Escape to the Cotswolds discovery centre, opened in 2010, and the unique Lloyd Baker Rural Life Collection. It also houses the Board’s offices, with the Board being a tenant of the District Council.

With the support of funding from the HLF, the Board is seeking to realise the building's full potential as a centre and resource for the local community and safeguard access to this wonderful building and landmark on the Fosse Way itself.

The application for a total of £1.3m towards a £1.8m project will, if successful, create a vibrant visitor centre at the heart of the Cotswolds. As well as conserving and improving access to and interpretation of the former Northleach House of Correction and the Lloyd Baker Collection, the new centre will act as a central hub for the Cotswolds AONB helping to deepen understanding and appreciation of the significance of this special landscape through volunteer-led hands-on activities and demonstrations, interactive interpretation and costumed story-telling. The centre will also become a focus for rural skills training, building on the Board's existing rural skills training programme, and will seek to be a showcase for sustainable energy conservation and production within the context of a historic building.
If successful, this first-round application will lead to the Board being invited to submit a detailed second-round application. The first-stage decision is expected in January 2012.

Full details of the application and supporting materials can be found below.

Application form
Cotswold District Council support letter
Cotswold Museum Service support letter
Conservation Statement - Lloyd Baker Collection
Conservation Statement - Northleach House of Correction
House of Correction Conservation Statement Annexe 2
Image sheet