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3 Spital Yard
Spitalfields, , E1 6AQ
United Kingdom

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

AHF Supports Plans to regenerate Wellington's historic Tonedale Mill Site

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

Tonedale Mill.jpg

The AHF has recently awarded a Project Viability Grant to enable the newly established Wellington Mills CIC to explore options for the future use of the Grade II* Tonedale Mill site in Somerset.

The eleven acre site was built by Fox Bros wool manufacturers as the company developed from a cottage industry to industrialised production. Production started in the 1790s and Fox Bros grew rapidly over the next 150 years, employing around 5,000 people at its height. However, by the late 20th century Britain’s woollen industry was declining and in 1992 Fox Bros ceased production at Tonedale. The buildings were initially used by a variety of small businesses, but over the past 20 years the site has become vacant and deteriorated significantly.

This is a huge and challenging project but Wellington Mills CIC plan to regenerate the Tonedale Mill site on a building by building basis. They are proposing a mixed use development, incorporating housing, workspaces, including studios, offices, workshops and meeting rooms, along with a café and social spaces. The group also plan to create a new open air market place for the local community.

The AHF grant will enable the CIC to commission architects to test and establish the viability of the proposed scheme and to undertake a comprehensive community consultation.

“Having the backing of the AHF makes all the difference in terms of our credibility, being a new group facing a pretty enormous task at Tonedale,” said CIC director Keith Wheatley. “The Project viability Grant is crucial in terms of being able to work with an accredited architect and develop new visions for the buildings and site.”

Editor’s notes

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. For press enquiries please contact Ollie Brodrick Ward, on 020 79250199 / oliver.brodrick-ward@ahfund.org.uk

English Heritage Angel Awards Shortlist 2018

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

We are pleased to announce that Historic England has released its shortlist for the Heritage Angel Awards 2018. This year there are 15 finalists, four of which have been supported by the AHF. Categories for which the four have been shortlisted include: Best Rescue of a Historic Building less than £5m, Best Major Regeneration of a Historic Building or Place, and Best Contribution to a Heritage Project by Young People. The AHF funded projects include:

Founded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, these awards celebrate the efforts of people taking action to champion their local heritage. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre on 27 November 2018. 

Please vote for your favourite project!



AHF Invests in two key projects in the Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

East Kent Mencap 1.jpg

As befits the only English town with a Royal Harbour, an honour bestowed by George IV, Ramsgate has a glorious architectural heritage. The town has 443 listed buildings and four conservation areas.  Originally a small fishing port, its development as a fashionable resort in the early 19th century was accelerated during the 1840s when the new railway brought wealthy visitors from London.

Whilst the grand crescents of housing and stunning harbour front remain, investment in the town centre has declined in more recent times resulting in vacant properties.  As with many seaside towns, there are significant socio-economic challenges.  A partnership of local organisations dedicated to reversing the fortunes of the town, including Ramsgate Town Council and Thanet District Council, secured the support of Historic England for a Heritage Action Zone (HAZ). Heritage assets and local engagement can now be brought together as a catalyst for investment. The HAZ initiative puts the outstanding heritage of Ramsgate and its community at the centre of restoring the town as a special place for people to live, work and thrive.  AHF is supporting two groups within the HAZ who are seeking to make a real difference for local people through the regeneration of heritage assets.

Heritage Lab CIC is a new Community Interest Company established in July 2018. Its purpose is to find new and sustainable uses for Ramsgate’s historic buildings and community assets. Particularly those which would not be viable as private commercial projects, whilst creating jobs and boosting pride and wellbeing of people  in the town. The organisation approached the AHF with the Grade II listed Pugin’s Chambers in mind as it negotiated a period of exclusivity for a proposal to acquire the lease from its owners.

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The Chambers form the lower floors of a row of town houses designed in 1867 by Edward Welby Pugin (the eldest son of Augustus Pugin)  and later converted to the Granville Spa Hotel following Pugin's bankruptcy (possibly as a result of this venture). Heritage Lab's initial idea is to restore the grand upper ground floor rooms for community use. The proposal includes creating event performance, exhibition and commercial hire spaces, supported by a commercial kitchen.  The lower ground floor would house flexible work space, creative studios, and possibly facilities such as a gym and health and wellbeing services. Business lets and hire fees would provide income to underwrite community lets. This is an exciting project for a new organisation that has a clear vision and considerable drive and skill. The AHF awarded Heritage Lab CIC a Project Viability Grant of £7,500 towards feasibility testing this project idea and developing an outline business case to support its vision.

Having our project supported financially by the AHF is a huge vote of confidence for our vision to use our local heritage assets to generate jobs, develop skills and support the creative industries in our community. All start ups need someone to take that first step and thanks to the AHF we are now working with a number of other organisations that have expressed an interest in supporting our work” Rob Kenyon CEO of Heritage Lab CIC

East Kent Mencap (EKM), the second organisation to benefit from a Project Viability Grant of £7,500, is to develop plans for Foresters Hall, in the heart of the town centre. The charity, which supports people with learning difficulties, as well as their families and carers, was seeking new and centrally located  premises to meet the growing need for their services.

They will soon complete the acquisition of the Grade II listed building from Thanet District Council, as part of its  asset disposal programme.  Although the building’s s distinctive classical frontage is now marred by peeling paint, as the Foresters Friendly Society it was a hub for community activity, hosting classes and meetings run by local groups.  EKM will explore how the building can be restored to meet the needs of their clients, whilst also once again welcoming the wider community into the building. The grant will enable EKM to explore the best approach to restoring and adapting the building sympathetically, to investigate client and community needs, and develop a fundraising strategy, in order to arrive at a viable plan for the work.

 

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By investing in these projects, we hope to support the aim of the HAZ to "use the town’s historic environment to stimulate and support economic, social and cultural regeneration ".  Louisa Hrabowy, HAZ Programme Manager said  “We are delighted to hear that the AHF has awarded funding to two community organisations in Ramsgate seeking to bring key historic buildings back into alternative use.  The Ramsgate HAZ is keen to support these projects. They clearly  align with our objectives to promote heritage management best practice, raise standards for quality and design, as well as increasing local community participation with the historic environment.  We look forward to engaging with Heritage Lab CIC and East Kent Mencap to make these projects a success”.

Editor’s notes

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.

For press enquiries please contact Ollie Brodrick Ward, on 020 79250199 / oliver.brodrick-ward@ahfund.org.uk

AHF Grant Awards September 2018

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

In September 2018 the AHF made grant awards totalling £19,684 for projects located across the UK from Ramsgate to the Isle of Benbecula. Grants awarded included:

Project Development Grants

  • The United Kingdom Historic Building Preservation Trust, 93-113 Harper Street, Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire (£7,500)

Project Viability Grants

  • East Kent Mencap, Foresters Hall, Ramsgate, Kent (£7,500)

  • Grove Park Youth Club Building Preservation Trust, Grove Park Youth Club, London (£6,560)

  • Kinloss Abbey Trust, The Abbott House Kinloss Abbey, Findhorn, Moray, Scotland (£7,000)

  • Nunton Steading Trust, Nunton Steadings, Nunton, Isle of Benbecula, Scotland (£5,364)

  • Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, Station Hotel, Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland (£7,500)

AHF funding to help RIO develop a future for Liskeard's historic library

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

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The advent of digital technologies has changed the way we use libraries, meaning the future of many libraries, including Liskeard, has been uncertain. The 19th Century Grade II Listed library is a landmark building and prominent feature on the Town’s high street. Now, thanks to funding from the AHF (the Architectural Heritage Fund), through its ‘Community Enterprise through Heritage’ programme, a potential future for the library is being developed.

The Real Ideas Organisation (RIO), a social enterprise that originated in Cornwall, has experience of regenerating redundant, historic buildings and bringing them back into use. RIO has been in discussions with Cornwall Council since 2015 to transfer the day to day running of the Library Service to RIO. These negotiations have led to an Asset Transfer Agreement, with a planned 125 year lease and Library Service contract. This agreement will see RIO undertaking a major refurbishment of the building, enabling them to continue to provide the free community library service, whilst expanding the use of the building into a set of flexible spaces to support a wide range of community activities, providing a space for people of all ages to read, play, learn and meet. The project will also involve creating new co-working spaces to encourage enterprise and economic development in the Town.

RIO’s vision is for a next generation library within the renovated building, one fully fit for the 21st century. The project is not only aiming to breathe new life into this one historic building but to help act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the town’s high street. AHF has provided a Project Development Grant of £30,000, with funding supported by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to support the development costs of the project.

Liskeard has suffered economic problems and the Town took part in the Mary Portas pilot scheme, which worked with 12 Towns in England to encourage innovative ways to bring people back into the high street and its shops. Initiatives have since been launched to promote the Town Centre and economic growth, including the ‘Your Liskeard’ website, which highlights that: “More than 70% of the local economy is driven by sole traders, SMEs and start-ups, and innovations are encouraged as catalysts for growth”.

As well as finding a new use for a much loved historic building, projects such as Liskeard Library present an opportunity to provide a wider range of creative, community and enterprise facilities on the high street – a significant factor in developing a thriving and modern local high street. 

Lindsey Hall, Chief Executive of RIO said: ‘The Library building and service is at the very heart of Liskeard. Our vision is to create a 1st class library – a warm and welcoming place for people of all ages to read, play, learn and meet – all whilst retaining the building for the community.

We’re delighted that AHF and DCMS have supported our vision and the refurbishment of the building with a ‘Community Enterprise through Heritage’ programme grant, this is a huge and welcome boost for a major project for Liskeard.’

Matthew Mckeague, AHF, CEO commented: ‘It’s great to see a social enterprise of the quality of RIO taking on the development of Liskeard Library. We think their creativity and ideas will be a catalyst for the regeneration of not only the library but the wider high street. We look forward to supporting their ideas to develop.’

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 Ollie Brodrick Ward, on 020 79250199 / oliver.brodrick-ward@ahfund.org.uk



AHF Partnering with Stir to Action's New Economy Programme

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

What if we ran it ourselves.jpg

The AHF (Architectural Heritage Fund) helps communities find enterprising ways to revitalise the old buildings they love, helping put heritage assets at the heart of vibrant local economies. The AHF provides advice, grants and loans and also hosts https://brick-work.org/, an online resource for organisations bringing buildings back into use. The AHF is now partnering with Stir to Action's New Economy Programme to help people learn more about new ways of financing asset development and bringing heritage assets into community ownership.

If you're part of a group that is looking to buy or manage a local heritage asset for community benefit, let us know in no more than 100 words how Dave Boyle's What if we ran it ourselves? Community Ownership Workshop could make a difference to your project and you could win one of three AHF funded places at the workshop. Please send your application to workshops@stirtoaction.com by 10 October. https://us13.campaign-archive.com/?u=ecb0f7a613961bd4463e0c67e&id=7e5b13e1a6

To book your place at the workshop visit: https://www.stirtoaction.com/workshops/what-if-we-ran-ourselves-community-ownership

Newly established community group supported by the AHF

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

The AHF recently gave a grant to support an exciting new heritage regeneration organisation located in Scotland.

The Friends of Dunfermline Town Centre was established in 2017 with the purpose of bringing unused heritage buildings in Dunfermline back into use. Dunfermline is one of the most historically important towns in Scotland with buildings such as Dunfermline Palace and Abbey, Abbot House, Pittencrieff House and the first ever Carnegie funded library. Unfortunately it also has a number of significant heritage buildings that currently lie vacant and / or derelict. The Friends were keen to save their town heritage and establish themselves as the local building preservation group. With two Category B listed Edwardian buildings shortlisted (the former Register’s Building, Abbot Street and the former Cinema House, East Port), the Friends came to the AHF for advice and grant assistance. The Friends needed help to build their governance and at the same time work up outline proposals for the refurbishment of the two buildings.

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As part of the AHF’s remit to encourage the establishment of new organisations and to help find solutions for important local buildings, the AHF saw great potential for The Friends of Dunfermline Town Centre. The group has received much support from the local authority that recognises the need for a local Building Preservation Trust style organisation to work with and through. A As a newly formed organisation the AHF was the first to fund the group by way of a Project Viability Grant of £2,000. We are happy to be informed that the group have also recently been awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Jean Fergusson, Secretary to the Friends of Dunfermline said:

“The Friends of Dunfermline group are delighted to be awarded funding from AHF. Our focus is to bring unused heritage buildings back into use for the benefit of the community. The funds will be used to help us set up as a preservation trust, and with the skills to make our first project a success.”

Editors Notes:

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. Its is the leading heritage social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK. It provides advice, development grants and loans.

For press enquiries about Above Adventure’s project please contact the AHF’s Support Officer for Scotland: Gordon Barr at 0300 121 0341 / gordon.barr@ahfund.org.uk



Support for Above Adventure's Crowdfunder

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

AAdventure 2.jpg

The Architectural Heritage Fund has recently supported an exciting charitable organisation from the west coast of Scotland which is looking to transform a disused nineteenth century church into a community climbing centre.

Above Adventure has worked for 3 years to transform Kilmarnock’s Category B listed Grange Free Church in East Ayrshire into a state of the art indoor climbing centre complete with a large bouldering room, roped climbing, a cafe, a training room and a multi pitched climbing area within the 140ft steeple. The aim of the charity is to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities in the West of Scotland through climbing. In particular it works with vulnerable groups such as those with disabilities and/or from disadvantaged backgrounds living in areas of multiple deprivation. For the charity’s co-founder, “it’s all about community. We want this to be a social hub for Kilmarnock – a place that the entire community can enjoy, even if it’s just a cup of tea in the cafe and to soak up the atmosphere.”

To date, Above Adventure has raised nearly £800,000 but require a further £30,000 to complete Phase 1 of its exciting project. The charity has been supported by East Ayrshire Council, The Robertson Trust and has received £23,000 in grants and a loan of £59,000 from the Architectural Heritage Fund. It has now set up a Crowdfunder page to help make Phase 1 a reality for 2019. Please support Above Adventure in its quest! For further information please visit www.aboveadventure.co.uk.

Editors Notes:

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. Its is the leading heritage social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK. It provides advice, development grants and loans.

For press enquiries about Above Adventure’s project please contact the AHF’s Support Officer for Scotland: Gordon Barr at 0300 121 0341 / gordon.barr@ahfund.org.uk

South Korea and UK knowledge exchange on heritage assets

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

AURI visit.jpg

Researchers from the South Korean Architecture and Urban Research Institute (AURI) recently visited us to learn more about the UK’s approach to the protection of community and heritage assets and the promotion of alternative uses. AURI is a South Korean think-tank for architecture and urban design policy supporting the South Korean government (http://auri.re.kr/). Founded in 2007, AURI’s vision is dedicated to “the people’s happiness and a nation’s refined architectural and urban culture” and it endeavours to build global networks to link the architectural and urban spaces of South Korea to the world.

The South Korean government recently enacted a law preserving traditional Korean houses as architectural assets and the government is now considering introducing the concept of community asset and community value. In doing this, AURI’s researchers identified the AHF as an organisation which has invaluable experience of working with communities and their architectural heritage.

A number of topics were discussed including the AHF’s organisational structure, community engagement, the protection of community assets, best practice and government policies. It was a demonstration of the wider interest in the UK’s approach to the ownership, financing and development of community heritage assets.

Editors Notes:

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. Its is the leading heritage social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK. It provides advice, development grants and loans.

For press enquiries please contact Ollie Brodrick-Ward at the AHF at 020 7925 0199 / oliver.brodrick-ward@ahfund.org.uk

A little beginning for a big plan for a huge building: the Great Northern Bonded Warehouse, Derby

Oliver Brodrick-Ward

  photo: ukurbex.co.uk

photo: ukurbex.co.uk

An ambitious new idea to restore and re-use the former Great Northern Bonded Warehouse in Derby is being explored with a Project Viability Grant from the AHF. The aim is to establish a classic vehicle skills, storage and traders’ hub in the large former goods warehouse in Derby, which occupies a prominent raised position on the western flank of the inner ring road. It has been vacant for over 20 years, steadily deteriorating, and now derelict. It was built in 1876 by Kirk and Randall of Sleaford as part of a huge goods complex served by Friargate station. 

The ground floor will be home to a ‘skills suite’ with a training school offering apprenticeships and other shorter courses including skills training for enthusiasts. Specialist tenants will store and display their classic vehicles in high-security glass-fronted garages, creating a changing museum, visible from the restaurant on the top floor. There will also be a coffee shop, classic vehicle retail outlets, specialist artisan traders, a flexible gallery and rentable exhibitor space for product launches, VIP evenings, art displays, weddings or specialist fairs.

The AHF grant has been match funded with a Heritage Lottery Fund Resilient Heritage Grant to look at the options and identify the best route to realise these enterprising plans.

Editors Notes:

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. Its is the leading heritage social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK. It provides advice, development grants and loans.

For press enquiries please contact Ollie Brodrick-Ward at the AHF at 020 7925 0199 / oliver.brodrick-ward@ahfund.org.uk