Plan to turn Plymouth's historic Customs House into wedding venue
PLANS to turn one of the Barbican's most recognisable buildings into a wedding venue have been revealed.
The Customs House, located on The Parade, could be transformed to include nine en-suite bedrooms and kitchen and dining facilities if plans submitted to Plymouth City Council are approved.
The Grade II* listed building, designed in 1820, had previously been used by HM Customs – most recently as an anti-drugs unit.
In the plans, which are being drawn up with assistance from council conservation officers and English Heritage, the grand entrance hallway will lead up to a main function room, known as the Long Room, which has tall arched windows and an original fireplace.
There will also be a ceremony room, which will take advantage of the building's vaulted ceiling and stone columns, a bridal suite and outside space in the form of an internal courtyard.
The plans have been submitted by Essy Kamaie – and his daughter Sahar Lee-Hansen will manage the venue if they get the go-ahead.
She said: "I am so delighted to have acquired the Customs House, it's like a dream come true.
"Having lived and worked in Plymouth for the majority of my life, I have always admired the building from afar.
"I never imagined that one day I would be involved in a fantastic project to bring new life to it, making it open to the public.
"The Customs House will be an independent, family-owned and run venue providing an absolutely stunning environment for every occasion."
Gillespie Yunnie Architects drew up the plans, and say they have been inspired by their previous work on buildings at the city's Royal William Yard.
Architect Will Hoare added: "The proposals manage to undo some of the unsympathetic conversion work that HM Customs carried out in the mid 1990s, by opening up the original vaulted warehouse and bonded stores to the rear of the building as an atmospheric and completely unique ceremony room."
In February 2011 the building was put up for sale with a guide price of £750,000.