Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew launches fundraising campaign to restore the Temperate House following initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £15m bid
The Heritage Lottery Fund 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. Development funding of £890,900 was awarded to help progress plans for the £28m project.
10 May 2011
The Temperate House is the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse structure in the world.
Initial support from Heritage Lottery Fund (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.
Introducing Kew's Temperate House
The Temperate House embodies all that Kew is about – rich heritage, world class plant collections and the importance of plants to people’s lives.Professor Stephen Hopper, Director, CEO and Chief Scientist, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
The Temperate House is the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse 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.”
A bright future
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.”
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.Professor Angela McFarlane, Director of Public Engagement and Learning, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
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.
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