The lighthouse and the sea at Orford Ness

From medieval to modernist: heritage ‘quartet’ awarded £11m 


Four historic sites in England, Scotland and Wales secure HLF grants. 

Today, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced confirmed funding¹ of £11m for four imaginative schemes to enhance and open up the following sites:

• The National Theatre’s 20th-century modernist building on London’s South Bank;
• Rochester Cathedral in Kent, the second oldest cathedral in England;
• Two historic buildings, the Carnegie Library and a neighbouring listed building, in Scotland’s ancient royal capital of Dunfermline;
• Cardiff’s Insole Court, a Grade II* listed Victorian mansion house and gardens constructed by coal magnate, J H Insole.

HLF has also awarded development funding² for three projects in Surrey, Dorset and Derry-Londonderry respectively and one that spans a number of regions.

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said: “This quartet of projects is a reminder of the extraordinary breadth of architectural heritage here in the UK. From the medieval to the modernist, these places are all in need of a metaphorical ‘wash and brush up’ and that’s where the Heritage Lottery Fund is stepping in and playing a crucial role. Plans can now get going for restoration work and fresh thinking on how to attract, stimulate and retain visitors in the long term.”

Ed Vaizey, Culture Minster, said: “These grants demonstrate once again what a wonderful contribution the National Lottery makes to our culture and heritage in the UK. The Heritage Lottery Fund invests in projects that are making a lasting difference, supporting great conservation work and also helping people understand why heritage matters to us all.”

Grants have been awarded to:

The National Theatre, London – £2.5m
The National Theatre’s (NT) distinctive concrete building was designed by Sir Denys Lasdun and erected between 1969 and 1976. Considered to be Lasdun’s masterpiece, the NT comprises three auditoriums based on different theatre designs from western drama (amphitheatre, proscenium arch and flexible studio). The NT’s Archive charts the history of the theatre thanks to a wealth of photos, documents, digital resources, props and costumes.  HLF’s £2.5m grant is part of a wider fundraising campaign for the NT Future project which will transform the facilities the National offers audiences and artists and place education firmly at the heart of its mission, as well as offering new opportunities for local community involvement and volunteering. 

Rochester Cathedral, Kent - £3.6m
Rochester Cathedral is a landmark in the Thames Gateway, attracting over 150,000 visitors each year. Founded in 604 AD, with the present building dating back to 1080, it became a place of pilgrimage in the 13th century following the death of a Scottish baker, William of Perth, whose body was laid to rest in the cathedral and subsequently attracted reports of a number of ‘miracles’. The conservation project will focus on the crypt, library and cathedral collections and the creation of additional exhibition and educational spaces.  The cathedral’s ‘hidden’ treasures will be put on show, including the nationally important but little known Textus Roffensis, the first recorded text in the English language which listed a number of Anglo-Saxon laws. An imaginative activity and outreach programme and new volunteer opportunities will help get more local people involved in this magnificent building.    

Royal Dunfermline, Fife - £2.8m
Dunfermline was made the medieval capital of Scotland in the 11th century and its Abbey Church is home to the tomb of Robert the Bruce. With HLF's support, a new state-of-the-art museum, art gallery and family history centre will be created by building an extension linking two Victorian buildings - the B-listed Dunfermline Carnegie Library (the world's first Carnegie library) and an adjacent B-listed former bank. The new integrated centre will showcase Fife Council's art and industrial history collections as well delivering the main library services in Dunfermline. This new ‘gateway’ venue will ensure increased exploration of the town's multi-layered history.

Insole Court, Cardiff - £2m
Insole Court Trust and Cardiff Council have come together to restore the 19th-century Insole Court, a mansion in Llandaff on the outskirts of Cardiff, which stands as testament to the wealth created by the south Wales coal industry and to the social aspirations of the Insole family. The grand gardens complement the house and reflect the family’s passion for horticulture. The site, along with the neighbouring cathedral and other local historic buildings, will help tell the story of the area and enhance it as a tourist destination. Running alongside these plans there will be comprehensive learning opportunities for the community and a training programme to equip volunteers with the skills needed to manage the site.

Projects in the pipeline

Development funding totalling £750,000 has been awarded to four projects which can now progress plans in order to apply for a full HLF grant:

• Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Race Track Revival, Surrey – £286,500;

• Wildlink - An Urban Living Landscape in Dorset - £85,900;

• Maritime Museum and Archive Centre, Derry~Londonderry - £278,000;

• National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA) - £99,600.

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 Initial support plus development funding 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 this is an endorsement of outline proposals. The project will submit fully developed proposals to secure a firm award at a later date.

Further information

HLF Press Office: Katie Owen or James Steward on 020 7591 6036 / 6056 out of hours mobile: 07973 613820.

James Harvey and Marian Insole at the entrance of Insole Court circa 1899, Cardiff. 
James Harvey and Marian Insole at the entrance of Insole Court circa 1899, Cardiff. Copyright Glamorgan Archive