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£26.5million to restore UK’s cemeteries and parks 

08/01/2014 

Lottery money to restore final resting place of Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, John Keats’ muse Fanny Brawne and inventor of the Christmas card. 

The Grade I registered Brompton Cemetery in West London, one of London’s Magnificent Seven, is to be restored following an award of more than £3.7million of Lottery funding. It is one of the first cemeteries to receive funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund’s Parks for People programme and is amongst 15 historic parks and cemeteries across the UK receiving grants today.

This vital funding will see the historic landscapes of these parks and cemeteries restored, the wildlife habitats enhanced and facilities restored or opened up for local people to enjoy. 

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said on behalf of HLF and the Big Lottery Fund: “Eighteen years of Lottery investment in our public parks has transformed tired and in some cases under used green spaces into thriving community hubs. Our historic cemeteries, with their wealth of heritage, also offer huge untapped potential and we’re delighted now to include them specifically in this programme.”

Brompton Cemetery is of national importance. It was established in 1840 and was one of seven - including Highgate, Kensal Green and West Norwood - built around the Capital during mid-nineteen century to ease over-crowding in inner city church yards and burial grounds. There are 800 notable graves including Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, John Keats’ fiancée Fanny Brawne and the inventor of the commercial Christmas card, Henry Cole. Also buried on the site are Chelsea Pensioners and commonwealth servicemen from the First and Second World Wars, which include thirteen Victoria Cross winners.

The cemetery contains six listed buildings and over 35,000 monuments. They include the Grade II* listed domed chapel built in the style of Basilica of St Peter in Rome which will be repaired and converted for use as an events and education space. The North Lodge will be transformed into a café, information centre and a base for the Friends group and volunteers. The project, led by The Royal Parks, will also restore the landscaping, create a new play area and help maintain the cemetery’s diverse natural habitats.   

The 15 parks and cemeteries receiving Lottery funding today are:

HLF/Big Lottery Fund joint grants in England
Lesnes Abbey Wood, Bexley - £3,468,000
Wharton Park, Durham - £2,454,400
Grosvenor and Hilbert Park, Tunbridge Wells - £2,358,100
Wyndham Park, Grantham - £875,900
Brompton Cemetery, London - £3,777,800
Chase Park, Whickham, Gateshead - £987,800
Bowring Park, Knowseley - £1,937,300
Winckley Square, Preston - £894,200
Rhyddings Park, Oswaldtwistle - £1,461,900
Peel Park, Salford - £1,408,500
Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa - £901,000

HLF only funded grants
Belleisle Park, Ayrshire - £1,938,400
Hermitage Park, Argyll and Bute - £2,087,200
Wrexham Cemetary Project - £1,048,600
Warrenpoint Park, Newry - £932,000

In spring 2014, HLF will publish a report looking at the current state of the UK’s public parks and the challenges facing them.  

Notes to editors

  • This announcement can be followed on Twitter #parksmatter
  • The Parks for People programme uses Lottery funds to support the regeneration, conservation and increased enjoyment of public parks and cemeteries. In England the two Lottery Funds have been working in partnership from 2006 to deliver a multi-million pound investment in public parks of £150m. Find out how to apply to this programme on the Parks for People page.
  • Big Lottery Fund
    The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. It was established by Parliament on 1 December 2006. 
  • The Royal Parks
    Almost 40 million Londoners and tourists visit the eight Royal Parks each year. The 5,000 acres of historic parkland provide unparalleled opportunities for enjoyment, exploration and healthy living in the heart of London. The Royal Parks are: Bushy Park, The Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, Richmond Park and St James's Park. The Royal Parks also manages Victoria Tower Gardens, Brompton Cemetery, Grosvenor Square Gardens and the gardens of 10, 11 and 12 Downing Street. 

Further information

Please contact Natasha Ley or Katie Owen, HLF press office, on 020 7591 6143/6036 or 07973 613820. Alternatively, call Helen Turner, BIG press office, on 020 7211 1888.

Macchetta Chapel at the Grade I registered Brompton Cemetery 
Macchetta Chapel at the Grade I registered Brompton Cemetery

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