A HISTORIC hall, which has been falling into disrepair, is set to be restored to its former glory next spring.

Esplanade Hall, which is based behind St Nicholas’ Church, in Harwich, is all that remains of Esplanade School which was built in 1813.

The venue, which has been deteriorating over the years, has cracks in its walls and damage is still apparent from the 1953 flood.

But plans now are on track to renovate the building and transform it into a welcome centre by March 2020, complete with a Mayflower-themed exhibition to mark the 400th anniversary of the ship’s voyage to America.

To push forward with the refurbishment plans, Harwich Town Council has allocated £4,000 towards the project.

The council’s contribution to support the renovation was announced at its full council meeting at The Guildhall, in Church Street, on Tuesday night.

Ivan Henderson, Harwich town councillor, said after the meeting: “Harwich Town Council has allocated £4,000 to go towards the cost of renovations.

“We are hoping to get the hall opened by March next year, so we are carrying out critical work so the hall can be used for future tourism.”

He said the inside of the hall will be turned into a Mayflower-themed exhibition with a range of hi-tech instalments which link to visitors’ smartphones.

“Once the hall is completed we will have another community asset for the town to use for years to come,” Mr Henderson added.

“We are looking at March to have it completed, but we don’t have a set date yet.”

He said Tendring Council’s engineers have already demolished some toilets and are gradually clearing the site.

This March, Tendring council announced £50,000 was allocated to the project for exhibitions and digital content.

The full cost of the renovation project has not been revealed yet.