£851,000 Heritage Lottery Fund cash injection
THE early home of National Trust founder and social reformer Octavia Hill in Wisbech is to be renovated and expanded thanks to an £851,000 cash injection from the Heritage Lottery Fund The money will enable the Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum Trust Ltd to
THE early home of National Trust founder and social reformer Octavia Hill in Wisbech is to be renovated and expanded thanks to an £851,000 cash injection from the Heritage Lottery Fund
The money will enable the Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum Trust Ltd to buy the freeholds of two buildings adjacent to the museum at 1 South Brink Place.
One of these, number 8 South Brink, will be refurbished and used to expand the museum display area, and the other will contain a lift to access the entire building and be utilised as an education centre and research space.
Peter Clayton, chairman of the trust, said on Wednesday: "This is magnificent news. We hope to complete the purchase of the freeholds by the Spring and for the work to be completed by the following year.
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"It's been a great team effort, and we are very grateful to the many supporters and volunteers who have helped make it all possible."
The three buildings were formerly a single house where Octavia Hill was born in 1838. The project will reunite them to greatly improve the visitor experience and bring to life the history of the woman known as the "Florence Nightingale of Victorian Housing", in the only museum that tells her story.
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Octavia Hill was a founder of the National Trust and an influential social reformer dedicated to improving housing and providing urban open spaces for the poor.
The project will double the existing museum space and create new exhibition spaces, shop and reception area. A community garden will also be created for museum visitors and local people to enjoy.
Peter Constable, Trustee and Co-ordinator of the project said: "This award sets the seal on this splendid project costing £1.13 million in all. The enormously generous award from HLF of £851,000 and the £150,000 from the Trust's own fundraising efforts leave us with a shortfall of £130,000 we still need to raise.