The lighthouse and the sea at Orford Ness

£10m Heritage Lottery Fund investment gives new life to four key heritage sites 


The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has today announced confirmed funding¹ of £10m for four heritage sites across the UK: Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; Cardigan Castle, Ceredigion; Charleston Barns, Lewes; and the Royal Crescent, Bath. 

Initial support² was also awarded to a number of projects, enabling them to develop plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.

Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “This is a pivotal time for the Heritage Lottery Fund as we are currently asking people how we should spend our money in the future. These projects funded today demonstrate the huge breadth of our investment and our commitment to championing all sorts of heritage. We are, however, living in tough times and there is considerable competition for our grants so value for money and offering a wide range of benefits, such as providing local people with training and volunteering opportunities and saving heritage at risk continue to be crucial.”

Completing Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge – confirmed grant of £2.32m
Kettle’s Yard, an internationally famous museum and gallery, belonging to the University of Cambridge, houses a wonderful collection of paintings, sculpture, glass and ceramics. Created in the 1950s by Jim Ede, the first curator of modern art at the Tate Gallery, Kettle’s Yard was originally an ‘open house’ for art enthusiasts and students, inspiring designers such as Sir Terence Conran and Nicole Farhi, artists including Edmund de Waal and museum professionals like Sir Nicholas Serota.
HLF’s grant will enable Kettle’s Yard to extend its existing space, making possible new workshops, seminars, lectures and displays.  Building on its already successful visitor programme, 10 new volunteers will be trained to lead educational activities and guided tours alongside the education team. An extensive activity plan will help local people and visitors learn more about the inspiring history and opportunities of Kettle’s Yard.

Antony Gormley, artist, said: “Kettle’s Yard is an invaluable visual resource for the university and town that combines a foundational collection made at the birth of modernism in Britain with an evolving programme of contemporary art. Kettle’s Yard is a necessary balance to the historical collections of the Fitzwilliam and a lively and living place to experience art. This investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund is vital and will allow more people than ever to experience and enjoy this wonderful place.”

Changing Charleston Barn, Lewes – confirmed grant of £2.4m
Charleston Farmhouse, the former home of artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, is a Grade II* listed building and museum. Its tranquil rural setting - including an 'L' shaped barn - inspired much of Bell and Grant’s work. Over the years, Charleston became a country retreat for the group of influential writers, artists and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury group which included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, Roger Fry and Lytton Strachey.

HLF’s grant will enable the Charleston Trust to redevelop the barn and yard into a new education and exhibition spaces. Additional activities are planned around the site’s broad heritage, including the recent gift of a major Bloomsbury collection, and expanding the current volunteer programme. New training opportunities will be offered to 200 volunteers and 15 internship positions will be created.

Virginia Nicholson, granddaughter of Vanessa Bell, said: “I have known and loved this house and its surrounding buildings for over fifty years. I played on the farm as a child, and I am delighted to think that Charleston has such an exciting future in the 21st century”.

Unlocking Cardigan Castle, Ceredigion – confirmed grant of £4.7m
Cardigan Castle is one of a handful of remaining stone castles built in Wales by Welsh princes and has strong links to medieval history. In 1176 the castle was the recorded location of what is thought to have been the first Welsh Eisteddfod. A Scheduled Ancient Monument, the site contains a number of listed buildings and gardens and is home to rare trees and wildlife including badgers, barn owls and bats.

The project will fully restore the structural fabric of the castle such as the surrounding buildings, regency gardens and wildlife habitats. A new heritage centre will be created within the castle grounds, acting as a gateway to its long and fascinating history. An activity plan will also be put in place, providing training for volunteers in all aspects of the day-to-day running of the castle, management of the gardens and leading guided tours.

Rejuvenating No1 Royal Crescent, Bath – confirmed grant of £1.4m
The Grade I listed No 1 Royal Crescent was built in the 1760s as the flagship house in the iconic Royal Crescent and located in the fashionable Bath Spa. It was used as the architectural model for the rest of the houses in the Crescent. No 1a Royal Crescent, now separated, sits next to the main house and was once used as servants’ quarters from the 1770s. Number 1 was transformed into a museum in the 1960s and remains a popular tourist attraction.

HLF’s grant will allow for the two buildings to be re-connected, creating a larger and improved museum and exhibition space. This will enable the story of this Georgian house to be told from upstairs and downstairs perspectives, showing visitors what life would have been like in Bath at the time. The Bath Preservation Trust will be working with a range of partners and encouraging local schools and visitors to get involved.

Further good news
Initial support and a total of over £1m in development funding has been awarded to a number of projects which can now progress plans in order to apply for a full HLF grant. 

  • Unveiling a Secret Garden, Swiss Garden, Befordshire – first-round pass of £2.38m, including £275,400 development funding
    The Swiss Garden, acquired by Joseph Shuttleworth in the early 1800s, is an outstanding example of the Regency fashion for creating gardens designed to capture the essence of picturesque Alpine scenery. Contrived vistas, fernery, a grotto and thatched rustic buildings were laid out to create this atmospheric garden. Project plans include restoring the garden landscape and its architectural treasures. The local community will help to research the garden’s history whilst skills training placements will be offered to help restore the unique ironwork and rustic decoration.
  • A New Life for St Nicholas Chapel, King’s Lynn – first-round pass of £1.5m, including development funding of £82,500
    St Nicholas Chapel has served King’s Lynn for over 850 years and is one of the oldest chapels in England dating back to 1380-1410. Plans for the chapel include undertaking urgent repair work to the building and converting it into a cultural and community centre, providing a welcoming place to learn about the history of the chapel.
  • Restoring Southwell Palace, Nottingham – first-round pass of £994,300, including £155,500 development funding
    The Archbishop's Palace, dating from circa 1360, was residence to many Archbishops of York until the Civil War, including Cardinal Wolsey, who stayed there just before his death in 1530. The project aims to refurbish the Great Hall and restore the palace ruins, opening them up to the public for the first time. New education and training opportunities for volunteers will be introduced including helping to curate and digitise the palace’s archives and looking after the grounds.
  • English Folk Dance and Song Society, London (across England) – first-round pass of £615,400, including £30,000 development funding
    The English Folk Dance and Song Society will work with five other nationally important English folk music and dance archive collections to tell the story of traditional, rural and working class culture in 20th century England. The project will carry out essential conservation work, digitise the collections and join them through a single web portal, allowing online public access to the collections for the first time. An educational programme will be run in 21 different locations in England with volunteers given training so they can help care for the collection and support the accompanying activity programme.
  • Europe 1600 -1800 - The Victoria and Albert Museum, London - first-round pass of £4,757,600, including £401,600 development funding
    The V&A's collection of 17th and 18th century European decorative arts - including ceramics, furniture, glass, metalwork, painting, prints and drawings, sculpture, and textiles and dress - is internationally renowned. The Grade I listed building that currently houses it is also of huge importance and was designed by the leading architect Sir Aston Webb. Project plans include unveiling its historic architecture, creating larger and much improved exhibition spaces for the collection.
  • Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery, Powys – first-round pass of £1.9m, including £141,200 development funding
    Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery was created in 1928 and moved to its current location, the town’s former Shire Hall, in 1974. The museum holds the largest heritage collection in Powys, including material excavated from the Roman fort, Brecon Gaer. The project will see major restoration work carried out on the building and the creation of new exhibition spaces allowing unseen collections to be shown. Staff and volunteers will be trained in collection care and museum management skills.
  • Merthyr Tydfil Old Town Hall, Mid-Glamorgan – first-round pass of £2m
    The Town Hall was constructed in 1896 and has a unique social history, notably Keir Hardie’s historic election victory in 1900 as the UK's first Labour MP for Mid-Glamorgan. The project aims to undertake urgent repairs to the dilapidated fabric of the building and turn it into an arts and heritage centre, giving it a sustainable use for the local community for the first time in over 20 years.

Notes to editors

• ¹ A confirmed award means that money had already been earmarked by HLF for the project in question and that the full amount has now been secured.
• ² A first-round pass means the project meets our criteria for funding and we believe it has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals.  Having been awarded a first-round pass, the project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award.
• Shaping the future – for heritage, for everyone
Have your say
– HLF’s three-month consultation on the future of Lottery funding for heritage is now live on the HLF website. To view the consultation video and to respond to the consultation, please visit: until 26 April 2011. 
There are two questionnaires available online. If you work within the heritage sector or community organisations in a professional capacity and would like to contribute to the full consultation, please fill in longer questionnaire. If you are a member of the public and wish to express your personal views on HLF funding in the future, please fill in the less detailed public questionnaire.

Further information

Please contact Laura Bates or Katie Owen, HLF Press Office, on: 020 7591 6027 / 6036. Out of hours mobile: 07973 613 820.

View of the pond in front of Charleston Barn 
Charleston Barn in Lewes - a heritage site with a confirmed grant of £2.4m. Copyright The Charleston Trust