Heritage treasures rescued

The future of Great Dixter, the 15th-century home of Country Life’s late garden writer Christopher Lloyd, has been secured thanks to a £3.79 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The grant will enable Great Dixter to continue to be a Mecca for garden lovers and student gardeners, and the Great Dixter Trust will be able to provide further training opportunities for both novice and profession gardeners.
This is part of the HLF’s latest round of awards, worth £21 million, which were announced today.
The other five successful applicants include the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (£4.53 million), which will be able to double its gallery space, and 12th century St James Priory, Bristol (£3 million), which will enhance its drug rehabilitation.
The Northern Irish site at Castle Hill and Ranfurley House, Dungannon (£2.24 million) will be redeveloped as a park; ancient hunting forest Epping Forrest (£4.76 million), will have a new interpretive centre and be able to preserve 1,200 veteran trees; and a new museum and archives centre will be created at ‘Experience Barnsley’ (£2.6 million) in Yorkshire.
There are also ‘first-round passes’—the initial stage in securing funding—for a conservation project at Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford House in Scotland, Stouhampton Sea City Museum and Westonbirt Arboretum.
HLF chairman Jenny Abramsky comments, ‘During these tough economic times, we still need to enjoy the things which enrich the quality of our daily lives, whether it’s a beautiful garden, a gallery full of wonderful paintings, or a much-loved historic building. Today’s substantial investment demonstrates that heritage is as much about the future as about the past.’

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