Summer success for London’s heritage with £1.6million lottery cash

These include a major refurbishment for the Dutch Galleries at the Wallace Collection, a new gallery showcasing the work of 20th century figurative artist and teacher David Bomberg at London South Bank University (LSBU), and ground-breaking works at All Saints Church in Kingston, site of the coronation of our Saxon Kings. A further five projects have also been given the ‘green light’, enabling them to develop plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.

Wesley Kerr, Chairman of HLF Committee for London, explains the importance of the new schemes from across the capital: “At HLF the variety and depth of London’s heritage and culture never ceases to amaze and impress us. In this case, an Anglo Saxon Coronation stone beside a cathedral-like church, to one of the greatest displays of Rembrandts, or the remarkable collection of 20th century British paintings in a specially created south bank gallery; each project will be open to everyone with no charge. All Saints is the most historic, yet little known building in Kingston, the Wallace Collection will bring high art to non-traditional audiences in a restored setting, David Bomberg and the Borough Group will have a new showcase and five other remarkable projects can plan ahead. HLF is proud to continue supporting the wonderful immensity of London.”

The Legacy of David Bomberg and the Borough Group - confirmed grant of £239,800 (Southwark)

The work of influential British figurative artist David Bomberg and the Borough Group will enjoy its first permanent display space thanks to this HLF award. Two ground floor rooms in the LSBU Borough Road building, immediately below where Bomberg and his students worked in the first half of the 20th century, will be converted into a gallery where items from a collection of 180 works of art and archives of key members of the Borough Group will be displayed to the public for the first time.

Bomberg is regarded as one of the most significant artists and art teachers of the 20th century and items in the collection are considered to be of national importance. This new gallery will do justice to his legacy, and the project will feature a strong educational element designed to explore the historical and social context of the artworks on display. Volunteer-led guided tours of the collection will be held monthly, a teaching programme on figurative painting will be created and heritage art classes mounted with local adult education centres.

Professor Mike Molan, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, said: “London South Bank University is deeply grateful to the HLF for their grant and delighted that there will now be a permanent home for the work of David Bomberg and other members of the Borough Group at the University. The LSBU sees the gallery as providing an important cultural resource for staff, students and many sectors of the local community to engage with the heritage of the University across a variety of educational programmes.”

Dutch Galleries Refurbishment and Engagement - confirmed grant of £470,000

The magnificent interiors of the three Dutch Galleries at the Grade II listed Wallace Collection will be refurbished for the first time in 30 years. Containing a major collection of 17th century Rembrandt and Rubens paintings and some of the best works by Pieter de Hooch, these galleries are known for their focus on artworks depicting the lives of ordinary people. It is this that has influenced an education and outreach programme aimed at local South Asian communities that will accompany the restoration. They will use Dutch and Flemish artworks from the collection to stimulate discussions about artistic technique, aspects of 17th century Dutch life, and the impact of the Dutch East India Company on South Asian countries during the 1800’s.

To be run as an intergenerational project, participants will, following training, curate an exhibition and create a range of activities for local schoolchildren. There will be a new Arts Educator traineeship, the development of Community Ambassadors, costumed tours, and training for refugees and new citizens to deliver tours within the gallery. Capital works for the 18 month scheme will take place in late 2011 and early 2012 and will include reinstating the original ceiling height of the gallery to let in more natural light, new silk wall coverings, gilded panels and ceiling mouldings, new lighting installations, improved security and environmental controls.

Dame Rosalind Savill, Director of the Wallace Collection, said: “We are thrilled that HLF has supported the breathtaking refurbishment of our three Dutch picture galleries. Their generosity will enable us to complete the dream to regain the height and daylight that Sir Richard Wallace created for these spaces in the 1870s, which was lost with the introduction of air conditioning in the 1970s. Once transformed and filled with masterpieces by such cherished artists as Rembrandt and de Hooch and their seventeenth-century contemporaries, these spaces will become an inspiration to everyone and, thanks to the help of the HLF, will also make it possible for us to develop further exciting and ground-breaking projects to embrace an even wider community than we do already. ”

All Saints Church - confirmed grant of £899,000 (Kingston upon Thames)

Dating back to the 14th century and featuring the remains of a much earlier Norman church, All Saints Church is one of three nationally important Grade I listed buildings in Kingston and little understood. Similarly out of the public eye is the Grade I listed Coronation Stone - currently situated next to the Guildhall – which is traditionally said to be the stone on which the West Saxon Kings (and, indeed, the first kings of England) were crowned in the 10th century.

The project will emphasise the role of All Saints Church as the core of Kingston town centre’s historical appeal, see the Coronation Stone re-sited to its original location in the churchyard, and greatly improve access to the site. A closed doorway will be re-opened in the Church connecting it with the town’s main retail area, and the existing choir vestry will be converted for use as a learning centre during the day. This will include historical information about the church and the town’s history using an interactive DVD, leaflets, booklets, information boards and a new history trail with downloadable app for MP3 players. There will also be accompanying materials for local schools, a series of lectures on Saxon heritage and a community archaeology project.

The Rector Jonathan Wilkes said: “This is great news for the church and the whole of Kingston.  The town has a fantastic reputation as a place to shop but it is all too often forgotten that it is a place of great historical importance as well.  It is a remarkable fact that the first person who could properly be called King of England was crowned here, and the story of the church and the town deserves a wider audience.  Now, with the support of the HLF, and with considerable help from the experts in the Kingston Museum and Local History Service, we will be able to exploit the church’s heritage and link with the museum in making Kingston not just a great place to come shopping but a great place of history, culture and spirituality.”

Further good news

Initial support and a total of over £200,000 in development funding has been awarded to a further five London projects, which can now progress plans in order to apply for a full HLF grant.

Reviving the Birthplace of British Cinema - first-round pass of £998,600 including development funding of £105,200 (Westminster)

The theatre that hosted the first ever public cinema performance in the UK in 1896 is to be restored and opened to the public as a working picture house. No. 309 Regent Street is part of the University of Westminster which will open it to the public as a venue for film screening, lectures, workshops and other activities.

British Chinese Workforce Heritage – first-round pass of £316,700, including development funding of £24,500 (Haringey)

From Limehouse to SoHo, this project aims to chart the 150 year as yet untold story of the British Chinese workforce in the UK. Focusing on London, the Ming-Ai institute will explore the history of this workforce dating back to the time when UK shipping companies first employed Chinese crews. The project will collect oral histories and research the changing workforce since 1860, and then create exhibitions in museums and community centres across the capital, teaching resources for schools, and online heritage resources.

Ingrebourne Valley Heritage Visitor Centre - first-round pass of £286,300 including development funding of £37,600 (Havering)

The visitor centre will be the focus for information and community education about the natural heritage of Hornchurch Country Park which is a local nature reserve and also the history of the former RAF Hornchurch. This one-time fighter station played a prominent role in the Battle of Britain and some of its original buildings survived within the country park.

Bentley Priory - first-round pass of £673,400 including development funding of
£45,900 (Harrow)

Grade II* listed Bentley Priory was designed mainly by Sir John Soane in the late 18th century and the building was used as the headquarters of Fighter Command during World War Two. Repair and restoration of the building will take place and a unique collection of artefacts and artworks concerning its RAF role will be displayed in a structured way for the first time.

Restoring the Future: St John’s Church, Notting Hill - first-round pass of £385,100 including development funding of £21,300 (Kensington & Chelsea)

Originally built in 1794 and moved to St John’s in 1846, the church’s Grade II* 18th century organ with a rare Barker-lever action is in need of urgent repair. The project aims to restore and relocate the instrument to ensure its long term survival and improve access, create a new viewing gallery and set up an education programme for students and the wider public. 

Notes to editors

Using money raised through the National Lottery, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  HLF has supported 30,000 projects, allocating £4.5billion across the UK including £868m to London alone.

Further information

For interviews or photography requests please contact Vicky Wilford, HLF press office, on 020 7591 6046 / 07973 401 937 or

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