Historic house lease extended in bid for £800,000 lottery funding
By poppy_smith | Sunday, March 03, 2013, 10:03
Camden Cabinet last night agreed to offer an extended lease on Lauderdale House, making it ready to bid for a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant.
The new 25 year lease will make Lauderdale House Society – the charity which runs an arts and education centre out of the house - eligible to apply for an HLF grant.
Cabinet's decision is the result of three months' work between Camden Council and Lauderdale House Society. If successful, the money would go towards Lauderdale Transformed - a project to transform visitors' experiences, preserve the heritage of the listed 1582 house and make it self-sufficient for the future.
Councillor Valerie Leach, Cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said:
"Securing the future of one of the borough's most loved historic houses is very important to the Council, and our partnership with the Society to bid for HLF funding is a positive step in the right direction. The Council has already promised £350,000 to the project and this, along with donations, fundraising and the £800,000 bid to the HLF - if it is successful - will mean the Society will be moving in the right direction to restore and improve the house."
"The project will also secure the future of Lauderdale House Society as a charitable organisation which delivers services for the community and looks after the house. The improvements will help to make sure the Society can generate enough income for the house to make its future sustainable."
Cabinet's decision means a 'round two' submission to the HLF can be finalised, with the charity planning a decision on the bid next month (March).
Katherine Ives, Lauderdale House Society Director, said:
"We appreciate all the hard work and support from Camden Council to give us the best chance of succeeding with HLF. We are currently working 24 hours a day to fundraise for the balance and every donation brings us closer to our dream of a 'transformed house'. In fact, any donations received between now and mid-March will also improve our chances of Lottery success so have a double benefit."
"The plans for the house not only mean we become self-sufficient and no longer dependent on grant income, but also include new heritage activities, more arts and education, full disability access for the first time, brand new facilities throughout and a whole new understanding of our history. Every grant and donation we receive helps guarantee the house will survive for at least another 431 years."
Following central government cuts of over £200 million to Camden's capital budget and the withdrawal of Building Schools for the Future funding, Camden devised a 15 year plan to invest money in schools, homes and community facilities by disposing or redeveloping Council properties that were out of date, expensive to maintain, or underused and difficult to access. Though the Community Investment Programme (CIP) funds generated are invested back into the community to improve services and facilities such as Lauderdale House.