THE bid to transform the former home of a beloved Cumbrian poet into a visitor attraction has greatly boosted after a study into the plan.

The Norman Nicholson Society are one step closer to their goal of buying and renovating the house to create a tourist attraction and centre for study and community activity. the poet's former home

A study was commissioned by the Norman Nicholson Society and funded by a £9,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and reported the proposed plans were feasible.

Charlie Lambert, chair of the Norman Nicholson Society, said: "We are pleased by this outcome and grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the funding that allowed us to put our ambitions to the test.

"Now we must consider what our next move should be."

Born in 1914, Mr Nicholson lived his entire life at the home, on 14 St George's Terrace, in Millom, before his death in 1987.

In his poetry, he wrote frequently about his home town and the Cumbrian region, before being awarded an OBE and the Queen's Medal for Poetry.

The report, by John Coward Architects of Cartmel, said the plans were worth pursuing, and praised the society for demonstrating the long-term viability of the house can be achieved.

The report said: "With the correct approach and an acute understanding of the link between Nicholson and the house, the building would make an excellent conduit for the interpretation of his life and work."

In producing the report into the Victorian terraced house, a number of specialists were consulted, including Marion Barter, an expert in heritage properties.

After visiting the house in October, she reported: "This house has high significance for its literary association with Nicholson, as the place where he wrote his published work and which influenced his character and creative output.

Michael Crick-Smith, an expert in the renovation and conservation of historic buildings, said: "The wealth of evidence surviving for the period and of value to this project would, in other properties facing renovation, be classed as outdated and in need of replacement.

"In 14 St George's Terrace, these are of high significance and relate directly to the childhood and adult home that Nicholson knew and understood."

The society's bid was boosted by the Heritage Lottery Fund grant in August last year.

During their work, the project has received backing from Stuart Maconie, a DJ, author and specialist in popular culture, and Eric Robson, an author, film producer and chairman of the BBC’s Gardeners’ Question Time, after the pair accepted invitations to be patrons of the project.