Morris and the silent era: £55m for heritage across England

Hyde Park Picture House
William Morris’ family home and a silent era cinema are among 12 projects awarded major support totalling £55million, thanks to National Lottery players.

The investment is set to secure a bright future for some much-loved heritage, boost tourism and create jobs and volunteering opportunities for people of all ages.

Revealing William Morris’ legacy at Kelmscott Manor

Opening days and visitor numbers will double at Kelmscott Manor, the inspiration of many of Morris’ works and his passion for conservation.

Two rooms in the manor and a number of historic buildings in the grounds will be restored and reopened. This will give visitors unprecedented access to the site’s heritage and ease pressure on existing facilities and the small village of Kelmscott.

“I am delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, we are able to help preserve important parts of our heritage for the public to enjoy.”Tracey Crouch MP, Heritage Minister

Virtual visitors will also benefit from the £4.7m project. New digital interpretation will feature online tours of historic buildings dating back to the 16th century and people will be able to study objects up close from Kelmscott’s incredible collection of furniture, pictures and textiles – many created by Morris himself.

Hyde Park Picture House: Leeds’ silent era relic

Open for film lovers in Leeds for over a century, the UK’s only surviving gas-lit cinema will be saved for future generations to enjoy thanks to £2.4m made possible by National Lottery players.

Hyde Park Picture House, thought to be one of the oldest small picture houses, was opened just after the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. During the war, the cinema played a key role in broadcasting news bulletins, war footage and morale-boosting patriotic dramas. It took the advent of the ‘talkies’ in its stride and remains popular today – showing historic films and modern blockbusters.

The project will open up archive material including film programmes dating back to the cinema's opening night, restore original features and ensure its future as a working historic cinema for another century to come.

Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch MP welcomed the news, saying: “Our heritage provides us with a sense of identity and helps boost tourism, local economies and people's wellbeing.

“These grants will have a huge impact on a range of projects across England. I am delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, we are able to help preserve important parts of our heritage for the public to enjoy.”

12 projects awarded support

Gardens and galleries, historic halls and hotels, and stories of Shackleton and saints: the sites receiving funding are:

  • St Albans Cathedral – £3.9m
  • Endeavour Galleries at the National Maritime Museum - £4.7m
  • Plymouth History Centre - £14.8m
  • St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Paddington - £3.6m
  • Acquisition of Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I - £7.4m
  • Hall for Cornwall – £2.8m
  • Otterburn Hall, Northumberland - £2m
  • RHS Garden Wisley - £4.8m
  • St Marylebone Parish Church, Westminster - £3.6m
  • The Beautiful Burial Ground project - £604,400
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