A SOCIETY is to launch a project to buy and renovate the former home of a legendary Cumbrian poet.

The Norman Nicholson Society will launch a project this week to buy Norman Nicholson's former house, 14 St George’s Terrace, in Millom, and renovate it so it can be opened to the public.

The poet, who died in 1987, was renowned for spending his entire life in the same Victorian house, with the sole exception of a two-year spell in his teens when he was sent to a sanatorium in Hampshire for treatment for tuberculosis.

The building was also the location of a gentlemen’s outfitters business, run by his father Joseph. The family lived behind and above the shop.

Number 14, which is used as a cafe, has been on the market for many months without finding a buyer.

Charlie Lambert, chairman of the Norman Nicholson Society, said: “This house was a unique source of inspiration to Nicholson. All his writing was created there. From here he witnessed the daily life of the town which he described with immense skill and feeling; he could see the Cumbrian fells from his bedroom window and wrote about them in a style which resonates today. This is a very important building, not just to the town but also to English literature.

“We live in an age when environmental issues are top of the agenda and when a ‘sense of place’ has become important to people. Nicholson was a standard-bearer for these issues many years ago and his writings are still being consumed and valued. We want to ensure his home is preserved and brought into use as a source of inspiration for generations to come.”

The society is working on an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the money to realise its ambitions.

The public launch will be held on Thursday at St George’s Church, in St George’s Road, Millom, from noon. The event will give anyone the opportunity to meet the project leaders, hear more about the plans, ask questions, and get involved.

Mr Lambert said: “I hope as many people as possible will come along on Thursday. Anyone who is fired up by this idea and has skills or expertise to contribute – we want to hear from you.”

Anyone wanting to known more about the project can email normannicholsonhouse@gmail.com