Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew launches fundraising campaign to restore the Temperate House following initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £15m bid
10 May 2011
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has given the green light to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to develop plans to restore the Temperate House and its surrounding landscape, it was announced today (10 May 2011). Development funding of £890,900 was awarded to help progress plans for the £28m project.
Initial support from HLF means that the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew can now progress their plans further in order to secure a full HLF grant of £15m. Kew needs to raise an additional £13m for the Temperate House scheme alongside the £15m funding from HLF. Defra, the government department which funds Kew, has committed to underwrite a substantial portion of this – in addition to the £21.6m in funding it will provide the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew over the next year. Leading philanthropists Eddie and Sue Davies have also agreed to provide support, now allowing Kew to seek funding from other sources.
The Temperate House is the largest surviving Victorian glass house structure in the world, originally opened in 1863. It has undergone a number of major refurbishments over the years, the last one commencing 35 years ago. It is home to some of world’s most useful plants, such as a date palm, tea bush (Camellia sinensis), from which the nation’s favourite brew is made, and a specimen of quinine bark (Cinchona officinalis), used as a treatment for malaria.
Welcoming the award, Professor Stephen Hopper, Director, CEO and Chief Scientist, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said: “The Temperate House is an iconic World Heritage structure that is an important part of the UK’s rich architectural heritage. HLF’s initial support for the project, along with underwriting from Defra and the support of Eddie and Sue Davies, has given us great momentum to launch further fundraising and bring the restoration project to fruition.”
“The Temperate House embodies all that Kew is about – rich heritage, world class plant collections and the importance of plants to people’s lives.”
Defra Science Minister Lord Henley said: “Throughout its history Kew has been recognised as a world leader in the fields of science and conservation. I’m proud of Defra’s partnership with Kew and its excellent work protecting our natural environment. That is why we are delighted to be able to support the rejuvenation of the Temperate House and preserve one of the nation’s finest architectural and scientific icons.”
Carole Souter, Chief Executive at the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is one of this country’s best loved heritage sites, attracting huge numbers of visitors every year. The Heritage Lottery Fund is giving initial support for these important conservation plans which will not only ensure the future of the Temperate House but also put learning and the local community at the very heart of Kew’s future activities. DEFRA’s commitment is crucial to this project but we also welcome the news that private donors have become involved. Philanthropic giving is increasingly important in the heritage world and is something that we are actively encouraging.”
Eddie Davies, a leading philanthropist and early lead donor to the project, said: “Sue and I have had a long relationship with Kew Gardens and are delighted that we can play a role in preserving and transforming the Temperate House.”
Professor Angela McFarlane, Director of Public Engagement and Learning, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, added: “We are delighted to have this vote of confidence from HLF for the planned reinvigoration of our visitor experience through the restoration of one of Kew’s most important heritage buildings.
“We will now be working with our partners to develop a truly engaging programme that speaks to everyone about the essential role of plants in all our lives, and offers even more people a share in the delight of Kew.”
Subject to confirmed funding, the £28m restoration project will be undertaken in a sequential, staged manner lasting up to eight years. Kew’s plans include a comprehensive restoration of the Temperate House and its surrounding landscape and converting the adjoining Evolution House into an engagement centre; restructuring the horticultural displays as well as rejuvenating the existing historic botanical collection; setting up a community outreach programme with an accompanying apprenticeship scheme and volunteer programme; and creating a new arm to Kew’s schools education programme which will encourage children and young people to learn more about plants and climate change. In 2013 the Temperate House will be 150 years old.
For more information please contact the RBG Kew Press Office on 020 8332 5607 or email email@example.com
Images of the Temperate House are available from the Kew press office.
Notes to Editors
A first-round pass means that a project has met the criteria for HLF funding and HLF believe it has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was made in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outlined proposals. Having been awarded a first-round pass, the project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award.
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, the HLF invests in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 33,000 projects, allocating £4.5billion across the UK. Website www.hlf.org.uk. For more information, please contact Katie Owen, HLF press office, on 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding living collection of plants and world-class Herbarium as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international visitor attraction. Its landscaped 132 hectares and RBG Kew’s country estate, Wakehurst Place, attract nearly 2 million visitors every year. Kew was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009. Wakehurst Place is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. RBG Kew and its partners have collected and conserved seed from 10 per cent of the world's wild flowering plant species (c.30, 000 species). The aim is to conserve 25 per cent by 2020, and its enormous potential for future conservation can only be fulfilled with the support of the public and other funders.
Kew receives funding from the UK Government through Defra for approximately half of its income and is also reliant on support from other sources. Without the voluntary monies raised through membership, donations and grants, Kew would have to significantly scale back activities at a time when, as environmental challenges become ever more acute, its resources and expertise are needed in the world more than ever. Kew needs to raise significant funds both in the UK and overseas.
Members of the public can support the restoration for the Temperate House by going to http://www.kew.org/support-kew/how-you-can-help/support-kews-treasures/temperate-house-appeal/index.htm
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