Abney Park gets crucial Lottery backing
Abney Park has been awarded a development grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery for the Abney Park Restoration Project. This initial grant, of £315,00 will see the project developed further and a second bid will be made in June next year. If successful at this second round, the project will see nearly £5million in lottery funding dedicated to the restoration of Abney Park
The bid was submitted by the Council and its partners the Abney Park Trust and Abney Park User Group.
Abney Park Trust has been closely involved in developing the proposals, working in partnership with the Council, Abney Park User Group, Local Councillors and specialists, including Historic England and nature experts.
The project proposals include work to restore the Grade II listed lodge buildings, new workspaces for stone carving, woodworking and creative workshops, along with improved educational facilities.
The Grade II listed chapel will also see further restoration to enable wider use for community, music, theatre and creative events to encourage further involvement and help sustain the park in the future.
After decades of decay, the building was stabilised last year, jointly funded by the Council and Historic England. The Trust has since invested in modular staging, seating and lighting to enable this charismatic space to be used for a variety of events already.
Shelagh Taylor, Chair of the Trust says “This is absolutely fantastic news. The Trust is working hard to support the on-going work through outreach and education. We are also fundraising through theatre and events to continue to invest in the site. Plans for this exciting development will maintain the unique character of Abney Park and enhance the space for future users.”
That investment also includes recently completed work to restore two Grade II listed monuments that were at risk and on-going fundraising campaign to restore Dr Isaac Watts’ monument and replace a stolen hand – this prolific hymn writer, poet and wit lived in a house on the site for 36 years before it became a cemetery.
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