Our plan to rescue Epsom’s Horton Chapel and turn it into a thriving arts hub has taken a huge stride forward thanks to a major grant made possible by National Lottery players.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded us development funding of £300,000 to progress our plans to transform the vacant historic building. Thanks to National Lottery players, the grant takes us significantly closer to restoring the empty Grade II listed building and running it as a not-for-profit arts and heritage centre.
The award is an acknowledgement of the HLF’s confidence in The Horton Chapel Project and an indication of its commitment to help make our vision a reality. It will pay for important structural and environmental surveys, architectural services to obtain planning and listed building consent, and pave the way for a final-round bid to unlock the significant capital investment that will be needed to refurbish the building, which has stood empty since the mid 1990s.
Ian Reeves, Horton Chapel Arts & Heritage Society chairman, said: “The announcement of this Heritage Lottery Fund grant takes our vision to a whole new level. We’re thrilled that the HLF has given us the green light, and these funds will allow us to start turning those plans into reality. We really believe that this is a project that can transform Epsom’s cultural life.”
Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: “We’re delighted that National Lottery players are able to support this fascinating project to breathe new life into this beautiful chapel. The project offers a great opportunity to combine restoration with a creative artistic vision, and we look forward to seeing the final, detailed proposals in due course”.
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has owned the building since 2004, and has committed to release up to £1.45 million in ring-fenced funding towards the Horton Chapel Project. The council awarded charity Horton Chapel Arts & Heritage Society ‘preferred bidder’ status in September 2016, following a pitching process for community-based proposals. These funds will be unlocked following a successful second round application to the HLF.
Councillor Barry Nash, Chairman of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s Community & Wellbeing Committee, added: “This is a huge step forward for the Horton Chapel project and we congratulate the team involved for producing such an exciting and innovative scheme, but also for convincing the Heritage Lottery Fund to grant them financial backing.
“The £1.45million we have allocated to support the refurbishment of the Chapel comes from a range of sources, some of which is ring-fenced to the Chapel and some of which is part of the Council’s capital reserves. These reserves have been ear-marked for use on the Chapel in the hope that a valuable facility for the community can be created, managed by the community and financially independent from the Council.
“Council officers will be working with the Horton Chapel Arts & Heritage Society to take the project forward to the next stage. We wish the team all the very best with their plans.”
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