The investment, announced today by Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage Tracey Crouch, will see the conversion of the Grade I listed building into a new rental space and volunteer centre.
Tracey Crouch said: “This funding will not only help preserve our wonderful maritime heritage at Chatham, but allow the Dockyard to be fit for purpose and serve the community in the future.”
The Fitted Rigging House dates from 1793 and covers 9,000 square metres. Currently under-used, proposals will enable it to be put back into active use. The funding also builds on the economic impact – estimated at £16m per year - that the Historic Dockyard site has made on the wider Medway area. HLF’s overall contribution to the regeneration of the Dockyard comes to £27m over the past 20 years.
“We particularly like their ideas for creating a volunteers’ centre and providing opportunities for people to learn key heritage building skills.”Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East
Focus on volunteering and skills training
Alongside commercial tenancy the redeveloped building will be home to a ‘Volunteer Centre of Excellence’ which will improve facilities and training for volunteers on-site. The project also involves bringing the Dockyard’s Library and Archive into more productive re-use with greater visitor access to the nationally important collection.
Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: “The Fitted Rigging House is a key part of Chatham’s heritage - not flashy but solid and reliable. It has played a vital role at the site for over 200 years but currently its potential is not being fully capitalised on due to its sheer size and complexity. We particularly like their ideas for creating a volunteers’ centre and providing opportunities for people to learn key heritage building skills.”