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Spitalfields, , E1 6AQ
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020 7925 0199

The AHF appreciates that neglected buildings which are all too familiar in our towns, cities and countryside can, with a little imagination and a lot of enthusiasm, be rescued to become assets for their communities by people wanting to make a difference. The AHF has helped hundreds of organisations throughout the UK to do exactly that.

News Source

Resource for Heritage Projects Relaunched

Oliver Brodrick-Ward


Many heritage projects struggle to ‘pass go’. This is often as a result of a lack of experience, understanding or support in key project areas.  For those community groups seeking guidance to rescue historic buildings and bring them into sustainable use, look no further! created by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust’s BRICK Programme has been updated and relaunched.

Five tailored resource packs have been especially developed for the website, containing ‘How To’ guides, video presentations and training exercises.  These resource packs address the topics of Governance, Business Planning, Fundraising, Options Development and Digital Innovation and are completely free to download. The digital platform ensures that people working on heritage projects can continue to access the knowledge and expertise built up by the Princes Regeneration Trust (now part of The Prince’s Foundation) over its 20 years of working in UK heritage-led regeneration.

To help ensure these valuable resources remain available to the heritage sector, the BRICK-work website is now hosted by The Architectural Heritage Fund. Although we won’t be adding new material to this site we believe the information and experience they contain are a great resource for projects. If you have any queries or questions please contact us on / 020 7925 0199.

Showtime for AHF funded playhouses

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

Nearly a third of the funds awarded by the Architectural Heritage Fund in May will go toward the revitalization of three historic cinemas and theatres in England and Scotland.  

Receiving the funds are three trusts located in Paignton, Plymouth and Prestwick. With the goal of breathing life onto the stage, The Paignton Picture House Trust, the Underground Theatre Trust, and the Friends of the Broadway Prestwick are seeking to bring mixed art programmes, heritage activities, retail and offices, community gardens and revitalised venues to their communities. The mix of proposed uses within these projects helps demonstrate how cinemas and theatres are evolving from their traditional mix of activities, whilst still keeping film and performance as central parts of the offer.

 The Paignton Picture House, Devon

The Paignton Picture House, Devon

The Paignton Picture House, built 1913-14, is one of five surviving grade II* listed cinemas in the (area). Closing in 1999, the Picture House retains a grand history including connection to Agatha Christie as her cinema of choice when residing in her nearby Greenway residence. Its significance is further enhanced through the associated archive of material, dating from prior to the construction of the building until circa 1960. Much of the archive was salvaged from within the cinema by the Trust post-acquisition.

 The Underground Theatre, Stonehouse Plymouth

The Underground Theatre, Stonehouse Plymouth

Lacking small adaptable and affordable theatre space, The Underground Theatre Trust in Plymouth hopes a former chapel, built in 1797, will become an outlet for the local art community as well as the new waterside developments and the Plymouth School of Creative Arts. Its ethos as a theatre and performance space will be to provide a low cost, easy in-easy out venue for amateurs and emerging professionals as well as access to affordable performances for the public.

 The Broadway, Prestwick

The Broadway, Prestwick

In Scotland, the rehabilitation of a 1935 Art Deco theatre, The Broadway, is envisioned as a community-led enterprise providing accessible space responsive to the needs of local people. The architect, Alister G. MacDonald, son of the first Labour Prime Minister, specialized in cinema design, and built a number of innovative cinemas in Scotland and London. The interior retains some unusual and important decorative features, with timber paneling to many areas, including stairwells and former café area, dado-height decorative stepped paneling to auditorium, and a unique camel design on air vents.

Commenting on the large interest in revitalizing community cinemas, Adam Hitchings, Support Officer for AHF assisting the Paignton Picture House Trust said: “Over a number of generations cinemas and theatres  have become the focal point of a community. They make up  a large number of  the types of buildings we support and we have supported 37 different  theatre/cinema projects in the past 30 years. It is a trend that is showing no signs of slowing.

Matthew Mckeague, CEO of the Architectural Heritage Fund, added: “Cinemas and theatres are typically the cultural lifeblood of a place. These projects show the great support cinemas and theatres, new and old, have within communities and we hope that these grants help to revitalize these buildings for a range of new audiences. We are grateful to the continued support of the Department of Culture Media and Sport and Historic Environment Scotland for helping to fund these projects."   

'Shabang!' wins £1,000 prize draw

Oliver Brodrick-Ward


Shabang Inclusive Learning charity in Slaithwaite is the winner of this year’s £1000 Project Impact Survey Prize Draw! The AHF would like to pass a big thank you to all of our clients who completed the survey.  The responses will enable us to identify improvements in the services and advice we provide and help us to continue to support community organisations / social enterprises to the highest possible standards.

Creating resources and positive social experiences for children with additional needs, Shabang Inclusive Learning delivers a series of activities focused around family time, arts and crafts, parent training, and children’s communication needs. 

In 2017, charity operators Kim Reuter and Russ Elias purchased the Providence Baptist Chapel, a Grade II listed building in Slaithwaite, intending to refurbish the chapel as an activity space and support facility for Shabang and the wider community. Erected in 1816, the Chapel stood in use until August 2016, by which time the congregation consisted of one family. The restoration project was renamed “Project Providence”, referencing the chapel’s name.

Helping to drive the project’s momentum, the AHF granted a project viability grant of £7,500 in March 2018. Kim Reuter informed the AHF that to date, repairs and restorative work is ongoing while the pre-planning and architect plans are being finalised.

Kim noted that the £1,000 ”is an amazing boost for us, we are a small local organisation embarking on an enormously ambitious project so winning the prize draw is not only a huge help financially but also feels like a really good omen as we move to the next stage of development. “

Congratulations to Shabang! Inclusive Learning and good luck to Project Providence!

Thank you volunteers!

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

 St Albans Signal Box volunteer group

St Albans Signal Box volunteer group

As part of the celebration of England’s volunteers this week, the Architectural Heritage Fund would like to shout out a special thank you to all volunteers involved with the projects we have helped to fund.

To shine to their fullest extent, heritage projects rely on volunteers of all kinds. From hard laboured renovation work and behind the scenes upkeep to tackling the day-to-day efforts of running a charity, volunteers make the seemingly impossible a reality.

Take a quick peek into two of our projects and the volunteers that make it possible:

The Clitterhouse Farm

Recently funded by AHF, the Clitterhouse Farm, saved from demolition in 2014, retains a history of resilience and survival. Dating from the 16th century, the farm house is recognized as an ‘Area of Archaeological Significance’ potentially as the site of an original Viking homestead and was the home of the influential suffragette Gladice Keevil.  In WWI, the site’s use as an international airport contributed to Handley Pages’ creation of the first aircraft bombers.

The remaining heritage buildings, a set of Victorian farm building from 1896, are being transformed to help foster a sense of pride in the heritage, arts and culture, as well as developing activities around food growing, skill-sharing, and sustainability. Providing a positive centre for the community, volunteers hold some of the most important positions in the organisation, including running the community café and garden events.  Volunteers who like to put their hands to work are essential to the building renovations and the gardening team. 

Having recently won a £18.5k by the Mayor of London’s Greener City Fund to develop a community garden and a £5000 viability grant for the farm buildings from the Architectural Heritage Fund, the Clitterhouse Farm is well on their way to reaching their redevelopment goal.


Coffin Works

At the edge of Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, the Newman Brothers Museum at Coffin Works was transformed from a semi-derelict building into a slice of preserved industrial heritage. In 2006, the AHF contributed a grant to help create a mixed- use development and a working visitor attraction.

The purpose built 1890s factory was the home of the Newman Brothers coffin furniture manufacturers. Becoming internationally known, the fittings were known for high quality, appearing on illustrious coffins such as those of Joseph Chamberlain and Winston Churchill. The company was in production until 2000. At the grade II* listed building, visitors have the chance to learn the history of the Newman Brothers by immersing themselves in the full original stock of working machinery.

Volunteers at Newman Brothers contribute speciality skills and in helping create a unique working environment. Bolstering the professional team by delivering an optimal visitor experience, volunteers act as retail assistant volunteers or a tour guides. Other opportunities exist for collection conservation and research volunteering. Excitement and loyalty for the project can be seen in the video created by Museum Manager, Sarah Hayes.

These projects provide but two insights into the vast contribution volunteers make to sustaining our heritage. Thank-you to you all!

Oarsome news as Boathouse secures lottery grant

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

 The Lord Provost of Glasgow, Eva Bolander and Glasgow Building Preservation Trust’s Anne McChlery celebrate the award of a grant from the National Lottery for the rejuvenation of the West Boathouse on Glasgow Green. Credit Peter Devlin (file available from:

The Lord Provost of Glasgow, Eva Bolander and Glasgow Building Preservation Trust’s Anne McChlery celebrate the award of a grant from the National Lottery for the rejuvenation of the West Boathouse on Glasgow Green. Credit Peter Devlin (file available from:

The National Lottery has confirmed a grant of £1.37m to Glasgow Building Preservation Trust to redevelop a historic boathouse on Glasgow Green.

The AHF has supported the project since its inception, with our Project Viability Grant of £3,000 in 2015 helping to establish the case for regeneration, which we were then able to follow with a further £13,000 of Project Development Funding in 2016 to help GBPT take the project to the point that it could apply to the major funders like HLF and HES.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the Rejuvenation of the West Boathouse project will open up the River Clyde to all by removing barriers in order to enjoy and share the social, physical and psychological benefits of being part of a diverse river community.  The project will redevelop the historic timber structure into a fully shared and accessible facility to enable other groups to utilise the building and access the river Clyde. 

Glasgow Building Preservation Trust (GBPT) has been working with volunteers from two rowing clubs and the project team to develop proposals for the listed building and an activity plan to promote use of the building and the river through a series of events and activities to appeal to wider audience – encouraging everyone to engage with the river and the heritage of the site.

In addition to a HLF award, GBPT has also secured capital funding from Historic Environment Scotland, the Robertson Trust, Glasgow City Council, Hugh Fraser Foundation, Turtleton Charitable Trust and the Mickel Fund.  This follows development funding previously awarded by Architectural Heritage Fund, William Grant Foundation, Glasgow City Council, MyPark Scotland public appeal and the Spirit of Calton Fund.

With total project costs of £2.7m identified, GBPT will spend the next year developing the proposals and raising the remaining funding before starting work in spring 2019, with completion anticipated in 2020.  The clubs will be hosting an open session on Saturday 2nd June between 10am and 12noon so that people can come along and learn more about the project proposals.

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “With the European Rowing Championships coming to Scotland for the first time in its history in eight weeks’ time, the popularity of the sport is on the increase. We’re delighted that, thanks to players of the National Lottery, a building which has great sporting heritage and associations with Glasgow 2018 Ambassador Karen Bennett and Dame Katherine Grainger will be able to open its doors to local people and allow them to enjoy the river on their doorstep.”  

Lord Provost of Glasgow, Eva Bolander, said:   “Glasgow is proud of its rich built heritage and the river from which so much wealth and pride has flowed.  It’s fantastic news that National Lottery players, through the Heritage Lottery Fund, are supporting this unique project to reconnect communities with the Clyde.”

John Entwistle, Chair of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust:  “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund have re-confirmed their long-standing support for this project – from their initial Start-Up Grant to the rowing clubs in 2015, through funding the project development and now this final grant award.  We are grateful to the National Lottery players who, through the Heritage Lottery Fund, have been essential in our work to save historic buildings in Glasgow, such as the West Boathouse.”

Further information:  Please contact Shiona Mackay on 01786 870 638 / 07779 142 890 ( or Jon Williams on 0207 591 6035 (


Glasgow Building Preservation Trust

Glasgow Building Preservation Trust (GBPT) was established in 1982 to rescue, repair, restore and rehabilitate historic buildings of architectural merit which through neglect or abuse may otherwise be lost in Glasgow and the surrounding area. The Trust makes a major contribution to Glasgow's regeneration through the preservation of its built heritage and organises the annual Doors Open Day event: Glasgow’s Built Heritage Festival.  Website:

The Rowing Clubs

Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club was established in 1857 and Clyde Amateur Rowing Club was established in 1865.  Both clubs have occupied either side of the semi-detached West Boathouse since it was built in 1905.

The founder of Clydesdale ARC, James H Rodger, was part of Queen Victoria’s bodyguard when she opened the Loch Katrine waterworks in 1859, was crew of the first eight oared boat race in Scotland.  In later years, James H Rodger became the proprietor of what would become the Rogano restaurant. In keeping with the established Victorian philanthropic tradition of making grand gestures, ideally architectural, monumental and enduring, James H Rodger contributed a significant sum to the costs of building the West Boathouse in 1905.

Over the years there have been numerous sporting achievements and events: the river Clyde hosted the Scottish National Regatta in 1869; the founding members of Rangers Football Club in 1872 were originally rowers who played lacrosse when the river was un-rowable, Clydesdale’s ‘Cronies Crew’ was unbeaten for several years on the Clyde; Clyde’s remarkable Penny Brothers were five brothers who dominated rowing competitions in the 1920s and 30s.  All of these recognise the contribution which rowing has made to the wider sporting heritage of Glasgow Green.

Gordon Simpson, a boy of the Gorbals in the 1950s, was caught throwing stones at the rowers and put in the coxswains seat to ‘see how he’d like it’.  He loved it, became a member, served the committee for over 50 years, winning lifetime service to sport awards, BBC Unsung Hero award and, having once been neighbours with Katherine Grainger’s parents, was the first person to put the future Olympic Champion in a boat – at the West Boathouse.

More recently; 3-time world champion Peter Haining, Sydney 2000 Olympic Silver medallist Gillian Lindsay, London 2012 Olympic Gold medal winner Katherine Grainger, Rio 2016 Olympic Silver medallists Polly Swann and Karen Bennett, Rotterdam 2016 World Champion Imogen Walsh – have all at one time been involved and rowed from the West Boathouse on Glasgow Green.


The Estimated cost for the project is circa £2.7 million

The proposed works will include: replacing the timber piles and substructure with concrete foundations; replacing the non-original external cladding; converting the building from a semi-detached building into a shared boathouse; renewing and repairing the roof, windows and doors; providing better access to the river with a floating pontoon; improving accessibility to the upper floors with lift and accessible facilities; providing flexible, multi-use spaces on the upper floor that will be available for use by other groups.

The broad benefits and activities of the project include:  Activities to support greater use of the river corridor; removal of barriers and supporting wider access to the river; volunteer training, placements and skills development; flexible, multi-functional spaces for use by community groups; improve inclusion, health, well-being, skills and confidence for users; interpretation of the built, sporting and natural heritage of the site; a new lease of life for a historic building; improved access to the built heritage of the boathouse, the sporting heritage of the rowing clubs and the natural heritage of the river corridor; support health benefits with improved access to facilities for informal recreational activity; foster and enhance community enterprise through increased responsibility for the building, encouraging social enterprise and alternative uses;  create a community focussed sporting legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 European Championships for the wider benefit of the people of Glasgow.


AHF helps to bring new life to 'The Old Church', Derry City

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

An Sean Eaglais 1.jpg

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has recently awarded a Project Development Grant to An Gaeláras to support the development phase of An tSeaneaglais, ‘The Old Church’, Derry.   

An Gaeláras’ purchase of the former Great James Street Presbyterian Church in 2014, thanks to a substantial acquisition grant from the then Northern Ireland Environment Agency (now Department for Communities’ Historic Environment Division), administered by the Architectural Heritage Fund, helped to secure the future of this landmark ‘At Risk’ Grade B+ listed building.  The project will see it brought back into use as a vibrant arts and cultural venue with space for music, education, performance, and promotion of shared heritage in a Neighbourhood Renewal Area.  The history of the building as a Presbyterian church will also be celebrated.  

Completed in 1837, the church was designed by noted architect, Stewart Gordon, and was one of the first buildings to be constructed during the Victorian ‘New Town’ expansion of the city; it is one of the finest examples of Georgian neoclassical style architecture in the area. Previous grants from the AHF have assisted the organisation to carry out essential structural surveys.  The most recent award of a Project Development Grant will allow the organisation to commission specialist conservation and interpretive plans, which are instrumental to the future of the HLF supported project and restoration of the church itself.   

Commenting on the award Pauline Gardiner, An tSeaneaglais Project Development Officer, said:  “This seed funding comes at a crucial stage in our development phase.  The AHF Project Development Grant will allow us to work with specialist conservation architects and interpretive planners to produce a number of essential documents that will help shape the future of the building and ensure its long term sustainability.  We are extremely grateful for the continued support of the Architectural Heritage Fund; their advice and guidance has been invaluable and we are very excited by the opportunities the development of An tSeaneaglais will provide for all sections of our community.”   

Matthew Mckeague, CEO of the Architectural Heritage Fund, commented: 

“This is a highly significant, but ‘at risk’, church and this project offers the opportunity to find a solution to its future through the creation of a major new cultural asset. We have been supporting the project for a number of years and the conservation and interpretation plans will be further essential building blocks in the project’s realisation.”

An Sean Eaglais 2.jpg

Notes to Editors: 

1)    The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. We are the leading heritage social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK. We provide advice, development grants and loans

2)    An Gaeláras is Derry’s primary Irish language, arts and cultural organisation. Established in 1984, the organisation is now one of the most dynamic, innovative and award-winning Irish language organisations anywhere in the country, delivering a wide range of cultural initiatives. 

3)    Funding for this project was generously provided under the Department for Communities Historic Enviornment Fund  Growing ‘Community Enterprise through Heritage’ programme.

4)    For press enquiries please contact Matthew Mckeague, Chief Executive, on 020 79250199 /


Historic Grimsby smokehouses to benefit from AHF grant

Architectural Heritage Fund

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The Architectural Heritage Fund is today announcing funding of £5,000 to the Great Grimsby Ice Factory Trust to develop a project viability study on Peterson’s Buildings, a Grade II listed smoking factory and tower in the town’s historic fish dock area, known as the ‘Kasbah’. The factories and shops found here form the most important surviving representation of industrial scale fishing trade in England.This funding comes at a time when a new Historic England supported ‘Heritage Action Zone’ is about to get underway. 

Traditional Grimsby Smoked Fish has European protection as a (PGI) product and is recognised as part of Grimsby’s unique culture. The Ice Factory Trust wants to explore the potential for restoring the smokehouse, and of training apprentices in traditional industry techniques, as well as considering other artisan food production and retail as part of the scheme.

Grimsby, once the greatest fishing port in the world, has been the focus of national campaigns by SAVE Britain’s Heritage, the World Monument Fund and others concerned about the neglect and loss of buildings in the historic fish dock area. The Kasbah area was granted Conservation Area status by Historic England in October 2017 and this was followed by the announcement of the Greater Grimsby Heritage Action Zone, which stretches from the Kasbah into the town centre and is now at the heart of regeneration plans for the town. The scheme will be run by North East Lincolnshire Council and Historic England, with support from Associated British Ports. Over five years, to 2023, it will bring neglected buildings back into use for employment and help stimulate a revival of the town’s economy. 

Matthew Mckeague, Chief Executive of the Architectural Heritage Fund said “The AHF is delighted to offer viability funding to this project. It offers the potential to act as a cataylyst for the heritage led regeneration of the wider Kasbah area and to show the potential of private, public and community sectors working together on schemes of this type.’ 

Vicky Hartung, Chair of the Great Grimsby Ice Factory Trust said “This is fantastic news. The support from AHF coupled with match funding from Associated British Ports will enable us to pull together everything we already know about these buildings, test our ideas for their future, and begin crunching the numbers to ensure our plans are financially viable.”

Simon Bird, ABP’s Port Director Humber said: “The Peterson’s Project is the first move in our plans to open up the historic Kasbah to a programme of heritage-led regeneration. We are delighted to be working on this project with local stakeholders in order to find sustainable, commercially viable uses for these important buildings which will ultimately help to underpin North East Lincolnshire Council’s regeneration strategy for the town.”

Louise Brennan, Planning Director East Midlands, Historic England: “We are delighted that the AHF are able to support the Ice Factory Trust in developing plans for Peterson’s Smokery. One of the very distinctive things about the Kasbah area is the number of listed fish smokeries that survive and in some cases continue to process and smoke fish. This grant is another important step forward in securing the repair and revitalisation of the Kasbah."

Editor’s notes

1) The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. We are the leading heritage social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK. We provide advice, development grants and loans.

2) Funding for this project was generously provided under the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s ‘Community Enterprise through Heritage’ programme.

3) For press enquiries please contact Oliver Broderick Ward, on 020 79250199 /

AHF on board with support for Long Live South Bank

Architectural Heritage Fund

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The Architectural Heritage Fund has recently awarded funding of £21,000 in support of Long Live South Bank’s (LLSB) plans to conserve and enhance the world famous South Bank undercroft. The funding will assist Long Live Southbank who are working in partnership with Southbank Centre to retain the space as the epicentre of UK skateboarding and as the oldest continually used skatepark in the world.   

The undercroft is situated in the supporting structures beneath the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The iconic structure was designed by members of the Greater London Council and 1960s avant-garde architectural group, ‘Archigram’. It was built by construction firm, Higgs and Hill. Opened to the public in 1967 the undercroft was intended as a public thoroughfare, but it was seldom used for this purpose due to low lighting and low numbers of pedestrians along the South Bank during the 1960s. Skateboarding arrived in the UK in the early 1970s, and from 1973 skateboarders began using the space as a ‘street spot’ because of its perfect natural terrain for the activity. Since then the undercroft has been the epicentre of UK skateboarding. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s BMX riding, street art, graffiti and other creative uses became a permanent additional fixture.  

Following a successful and high profile campaign to protect the spaces from re-development, Long Live Southbank and the Southbank Centre are now working in partnership to restore and enhance the site. LLSB has been able to secure the preservation of the current skate space while promoting its significance to the wider public through their 150,000 signed up members. LLSB’s efforts are an example of a new generation seeking to protect and sustain their heritage sites and buildings, and demonstrates the increasing role of social media and crowdfunding in these campaigns. The Architectural Heritage Fund is supporting and investing in a host of new groups developing similar projects across the UK. 

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Long Live South Bank has secured over £30,000 match funding from their crowdfunding campaign, as well as sponsorship from Palace Skateboards. The joint LLSB and Southbank Centre project was recently awarded £700,000 from the Mayor of London’s ‘Good Growth Fund’ towards the capital costs. AHF support of £21,000 will help fund project management, architect, and other professional fees. 

The restoration will reopen the undercroft spaces to their original design and it is anticipated that the additional space will attract both new and a more diverse set of users. The project will include the creation of an education and youth centre, to be operated directly by the Southbank Centre, and which will form part of the overall partnership between the two organisations. Due to the nature of the space and its use, the undercroft will help demonstrate how two very different organisations can jointly manage a significant heritage site for the benefit of the wider public and their respective memberships. 

Stuart Maclure, Long Live South Bank, welcomed the grant: "Long Live Southbank is excited to accept a Project Development Grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund to be used for the restoration of much loved sections of the Queen Elizabeth Hall undercroft. This landmark project will see more space opened up to Londoners who wish to engage in creative activities such as skateboarding, BMXing and graffiti writing. Once complete, the space will be open to the public free of charge 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Liz Peace, Chair of the Architectural Heritage Fund, said: "The undercroft is a highly significant place, not only to the skateboarders that use it and love it, but for everyone that appreciates the Southbank as one of the most distinctive and vibrant parts of London. AHF is very glad to be supporting Long Live Southbank with their plans and in helping the organisation develop greater community ownership of this world famous skate spot."   

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, commented: “For decades, the Southbank undercroft has been a pilgrimage site for skateboarders from all over the world. It remains a well-loved space, used by huge numbers of skateboarders every day. With the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund award and the Architectural Heritage Fund’s support, we are delighted to be supporting this important cultural asset and a new education hub.”

Alix Wooding, Development Director at Southbank Centre, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Long Live Southbank to restore and enhance the undercroft. It is a credit to their hard work and dedication that they have secured funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund as part of the requirement to match the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund. The development of this space will give skaters and BMXers access to newly opened up, and restored, sections of the undercroft whilst our education space will allow young people and schoolchildren from across the capital to benefit from a new fully accessible arena for diverse creative and learning activities.” 

Editor’s notes

1)  The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. We are the leading heritage social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK. We provide advice, development grants and loans.

2)  Funding for this project was generously provided under the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s ‘Community Enterprise through Heritage’ programme.

3)  For press enquiries please contact Matthew Mckeague, Chief Executive, on 020 79250199 /

AHF supports Granby 4 Streets CLT in critical phase of its development

Architectural Heritage Fund

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The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has awarded Granby 4 Streets CLT £29,800 in its latest round of ‘Community Enterprise through Heritage’ funding. The funding will support the CLT during a critical phase of its work developing community assets, enterprise space and community led housing in Granby, Liverpool.

Granby 4 Streets CLT (Beaconsfield, Cairns, Jermyn & Ducie Streets, which all cross the main Granby Street) is a historic area of 1880s terraced housing in Liverpool L8, near two of the city’s largest parks.

Once a thriving cosmopolitan high street of over 90 shops, Granby Street and the surrounding area was under threat of demolition for over 25 years. Sustained campaigning by Granby Residents’ Association saved these four streets as did decades of direct, creative community actions – which included planting along the streets, painting the boarded-up houses and holding a monthly street market. These attracted the support of a social investor, who offered the CLT a loan on generous terms, the financial basis for developing viable alternative re-development proposals. Liverpool City Council responded, reversing the policy of wholesale demolition and transferred 10 houses to the CLT. Working closely with the young architect and design collective, Assemble, the imaginative refurbishment of these properties led to Assemble winning the Turner Prize 2015.

The CLT started the area-wide development that now combines several partners - housing associations, the city council, community organisations and a social enterprise – together creating many solutions in a community-led regeneration programme.

The CLT is currently developing a portfolio of capital projects focusing on Affordable Housing, Granby Winter Garden, the 4 Corners and 143 Granby. Together these assets form one of the few remaining Victorian neighborhood streetscapes of the kind in Liverpool. The community ownership model aims to preserve the physical heritage, whilst building a solid foundation for future social and economic renewal that will benefit the local community.

The AHF grant will support the organisation through a critical period in its development and while the CLT is part-way through complex capital projects. The Four Corners will be redeveloped as workspaces and a retail unit, and the Winter Garden will provide an arts and community meeting space alongside an indoor garden in two of the houses that were too damaged to bring back into use as housing.

Matthew Mckeague, CEO of the Architectural Heritage Fund, commented: ‘I am very glad we are able to support Granby 4 Streets CLT at this vital phase of its development. Although not listed, these houses are very much a part of the fabric of this community and imaginative adaptation and regeneration is the model the community wants to see here, a model we’re very happy to support.’

Anthony Engi Meacock of Assemble Studio commented: ‘It has been fantastic working with the CLT to create a new community owned public space out of shell of two buildings that without intervention would be close to collapse, and exciting that after years of work it will be opening this year. This funding comes at a critical time and will enable us to maintain momentum as we shift focus to restoring the four corners into public use’

Hazel Tilley, long-term resident, community activist, founder member and Board member of the CLT: "We can't change the world, we can only change our tiny bit. I look out the window and I'm totally cheered by seeing houses with people living in them. Bearing in mind we're ordinary people, what we've done is magnificent."

Editors' Notes:

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1) The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. We are the leading heritage social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK. We provide advice, development grants and loans.

2) Funding for this project was generously provided under the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s ‘Community Enterprise through Heritage’ programme.

3) For press enquiries please contact the AHF at 020 79250199 /

Key secrets of Abergavenny's important Gunter Mansion to be revealed

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

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The Welsh Georgian Trust’s Gunter mansion restoration moves one step closer as the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Architectural Heritage Fund have announced that they are awarding grants towards an in-depth archaeological and building research survey. The Heritage Lottery Fund award of £10,000 is alongside that of £5,000 already pledged by the Architectural Heritage Fund.

Gunter Mansion is a Grade II* listed, largely 17th Century, town house formerly belonging to the Gunter family.  It contains an incredibly important Catholic chapel dating from the late 17th Century which was hidden for over two centuries and rediscovered in the early 20th Century.

The two grant bodies recognise that the project is of local and national significance.  These grants will enable the Trust to provide evidence-based answers to some key questions, such as to the original date of the building, its uses, and how much of the building was originally used for the chapel.

As part of the application process the Trust invited tenders for the survey from a number of conservation architectural practices, and the project has been awarded to local firm Morgan and Horowskyj. Their surveying team will include a number of historical building specialists and the initial results are expected by the end of June.

The Welsh Georgian Trust acquired Gunter Mansion and its secret 17th Century Catholic chapel in Abergavenny thanks to grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and the Pilgrim Trust in 2017. Additional funding was raised by a crowd funding campaign, which attracted widespread support.

The chapel became notorious in the 1670s, at a pivotal time in British history. The Catholic activities at Gunter were so shocking that they were reported to Parliament and created the atmosphere for the Titus Oates plot which quickly followed, initiating a wave of anti-Catholic paranoia, to which the king had no option but to respond.

In 1678 Charles II issued a warrant for the immediate arrest of all papists and Jesuits. The priests Philip Evans and David Lewis, who regularly held mass at the Chapel in Gunter were arrested by the end of the year and subsequently condemned to death for their religion. David Lewis then became the last Catholic martyr in Wales.

The resultant increase in sectarian tension effectively ruled out any accommodation of Catholicism within Britain, paving the way for the crisis over James II’s Catholicism less than ten years later, which led directly to the Glorious Revolution.

As well as a particularly fine 17th Century plaster ceiling on the first floor, the second-floor chapel contains important graffiti dating from the 17th Century Gunter ownership which gives incredible insight into the period.  In recent years the building has been neglected and at risk of serious decay.  Once the specialist building survey has been completed the Trust intends to apply for future funding to enable the restoration to take place.

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Andrew Beckett, Chairman of The Welsh Georgian Trust, said: “We now have a fantastic opportunity to make Gunter Mansion a great asset to Abergavenny and this part of Wales and the funding we have secured for the building survey will, we hope, uncover more of its secrets. We aim to restore the building so that will use it people can experience a fascinating and important part of our history, which will resonate with people on so many different levels.”

Richard Bellamy, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, neglected or run-down historic buildings are not only rescued but conserved for future generations to enjoy and learn from. The Gunter Mansion project will help reveal the hidden history of a building, showing how it can provide an important link to a community’s roots.”

Matthew McKeague, Chief Executive of the Architectural Heritage Fund said: "This is a building of significant historical importance. Creating viable uses for buildings requires close collaboration and consultation with the local community and the strength of support is evident through the large number of 'Friends of Gunter Mansion'. We're pleased to be supporting the project at this vital, early stage and will continue to support the Welsh Georgian Trust as they seek to identify sustainable uses for Gunter Mansion."

For more details about the Gunter Mansion project and The Welsh Georgian Trust please visit the Trust’s website or contact the Trust’s office administrator Ben Baugh on 01873 568 068 or


Notes to editors

About The Welsh Georgian Trust

The Welsh Georgian Trust is a Building Preservation Trust using Architectural Heritage Fund and Charity Commission approved Memorandum and Articles of Association. We are a company limited by guarantee, a registered charity. Our trustees have vast experience of the historic environment in Wales. We have an office in Monmouth but cover all of Wales and the Marches.

Our objects are to preserve for the benefit of the people of Wales and the Welsh Marches and of the Nation, the historical, architectural and constructional heritage that may exist in and around Wales and the Welsh Marches in Georgian and Pre-Georgian buildings (including any structure or erection, and any part of a building as so defined) of particular beauty or historical, architectural or constructional interest.

For more information please visit

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  Follow us on facebook HLFWales and Twitter @HLFCymru

About the Architectural Heritage Fund

The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity, working since 1976, to promote the conservation and sustainable reuse of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in areas of deprivation.  We are the leading heritage social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK.                       Twitter AHF UK                 Twitter AHF Wales