The latest news and updates from the Architectural Heritage Fund
Restoring England’s Heritage - BBC1, 5 December. This programme looked at some of the most important buildings at risk in England and the people who are trying to save them. Different buildings were featured in each of the BBC’s regions. As many of the campaigns were led by local voluntary groups, it was inevitable that a number would be well-known to the AHF and have benefited from our grants and loans. A sample of these include: Poltimore House - Devon; Newman Brothers Coffin Works - Birmingham; Scientific & Literary Institute – Dorset; Bawdsey Radar Station – Suffolk; Great Grimsby Ice Factory and Turner’s House in Twickenham. The programme also revisited buildings that appeared on the BBC’s Restoration series to check on what progress had been made. Lottery-funded success stories such as Strawberry Hill, Hadlow Tower, Moulton Windmill, the first winner Manchester Victoria Baths and many more, all received AHF support from the earliest stages. www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/restoringenglandsheritage
Portland Works in Sheffield has won the 2013 Heritage Heroes Award, announced by The Heritage Alliance Chairman Loyd Grossman at the Heritage Day event on 5 December at the Royal Geographical Society in London. Loyd Grossman paid tribute to the Architectural Heritage Fund as a prime supporter of the project when presenting the award to Derek Morton of Portland Works.
The Architectural Heritage Fund is delighted to see that King Edward Mine has been successful in its bid for support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, following the AHF’s own investment of £200,000 through the Challenge Fund for Historic Buildings at Risk, funded by Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and English Heritage. We wish the project every success as it moves forward. Full press release here: www.cornwall.gov.uk
An AHF Options Appraisal Grant offered to the Paisley Development Trust in September 2012 for the Russell Institute has helped to secure the building’s future, just over a year later. The work undertaken by the Trust has raised the profile of the building and the Options Appraisal itself formed the basis of an application by Renfrewshire Council to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund for £2m, which has just been awarded.
See further details here: www.thepdt.org.uk
The AHF moved from Alhambra House to 15 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DD at the beginning of September.
A Grade II-listed London pub was the first in the country to be rescued from property development due to a unique partnership between the local community – using the Localism Act, a new piece of legislation – the Social Investment Business (SIB), and the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF).
The Ivy House in the London Borough of Southwark was closed in the spring of 2012 and subsequently sold to a private investor for redevelopment. Tessa Blunden, a local solicitor, who actually held her wedding party in the pub several years ago, was one of many determined to save it from being turned into an apartment block.
Tessa and her steering team colleagues galvanised community and local authority support by way of the Localism Act. In October 2012, Southwark Council acknowledged there was significant support to save the pub and formally listed the building as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ under the legislation. Preventing the re-development was only half the battle. The community needed to raise the £810,000 asking price for the pub, which is where the AHF stepped in to lend £550,000 towards both acquisition and for working capital purposes, working closely with the SIB who provided an acquisition grant.
Following completion of the purchase on 15 March 2013, Ivy House Community Pub Limited launched a community share issue to enable people and businesses to invest directly in the pub to secure its long term future as London's first co-operative pub and community hub. Over £140,000 was raised in this way, and the business successfully opened to the public in August 2013.
Portland Works Little Sheffield, Randall Street, Sheffield
The Portland Works project is a group of tenants and supporters who have worked together to ensure the survival of one of Sheffield's great buildings. The AHF successfully co-invested with The Key Fund, a North of England social investor, to enable the purchase of the stainless steel cutlery factory in Sheffield, by the craftspeople that run their businesses from its workshops. Built in 1877 and Grade II* listed, it is most notable for being the first place in the world to manufacture stainless steel cutlery. The Sheffield factory had been earmarked for redevelopment to be turned into apartments before they secured £200,000 from AHF and £20,000 from the Key Fund. To date, over £265,000 has also been raised through its share issue - a highly impressive sum – which has allowed the building to pass into community ownership and safeguard its future.
Tucked away between Stamford and Peterborough lies the village of Helpston, the home of John Clare, widely regarded as one of the greatest English poets. The John Clare Trust purchased John Clare Cottage in 2005, preserving it for future generations. The Cottage has been restored, using traditional building methods, to create a centre where people can learn about John Clare, his works, how rural people lived in the early 19th century and also gain an understanding of the environment. Such is the success of the project, the Trust is expanding and, to this end, has purchased nearby vacant building – a former pub which is Grade II listed. The AHF is assisting the Trust by providing a loan facility of £210,000 which will allow them to renovate and re-develop the building and thus provide for the expansion. Early project plans include the installation of a large tearoom, and improved educational materials. From here they plan to provide an audio walk along to the Cottage and around the maintained gardens.
Information for journalistsWe are always keen to work with journalists and can offer the following services:
- Interviews and comment
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- Case studies and examples of some of the best heritage conservation work throughout the British Isles
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For further information please contact:
020 7925 0199