New life for old building

Hyde Park Cemetery lodge.
Hyde Park Cemetery lodge.
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A wealthy businessman has stepped in to resurrect a landmark building overlooking a South Yorkshire Victorian cemetery.

Glazing magnate Adrian Welch attended a property auction in Sheffield and bid £10,000 for the Hyde Park Cemetery Lodge in Doncaster.

The building has been derelict for more than 30 years.

Mr Welch runs his glass and window repair operation from Carr Lane, just across the road from the lodge, which was previously occupied by the cemetery superintendent but has been boarded up for security reasons.

It is believed he now intends to renovate the structure and use it as part of his business.

The auction was attended by Richard Bell, chair of The Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery, who said only one other bidder had shown interest in the building and dropped out at £9,000.

The agents had hoped it might fetch £25,000.

Mr Bell had said in advance of the auction that he hoped the property would be sold to someone looking to use it for a business.

Prospective buyers were made aware they would also have to fund the structural repair of the adjacent stone archway, which is leaning over and currently held up by scaffolding.

Mr Bell said: “Adrian has been a keen supporter of the work of the Friends group for several years.

“To have the lodge and archway restored, and the building put back into sustainable use, will greatly improve the appearance of the cemetery’s main entrance.

“The incidence of anti-social behaviour at the site has reduced very greatly in recent years, as the Friends have worked in partnership with Doncaster Council to improve the site.

“Having the lodge occupied will certainly help to continue that trend.

“The Friends look forward to continuing to work with Adrian over the coming years. We have offered him whatever assistance we are able to provide, as he works towards restoring the historic lodge to its former glory.”