23 May 2018

Ingestre Orangery – A sustainable restoration project awarded National Lottery support

The Friends of Ingestre Orangery (FOIO) has received a confirmed National Lottery grant of £1,018,500 for ‘Ingestre Orangery – A sustainable restoration’ project, it was announced today. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the project will restore, preserve, interpret and develop the Grade II Listed Orangery at Ingestre in Staffordshire. The project will provide a central point for those exploring Ingestre’s unique heritage, as well as becoming a vital community hub. Work is due to start in the Spring and the finished building is expected to re-open early 2019.

The project, which will be funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for three years, will deliver a diverse programme of events to help bring heritage alive for local people and visitors. Essential conservation work to the existing Orangery, and the provision of a new build area to the rear, will allow for year-round use of the building, which is set in the grounds of Ingestre Hall. The restored Orangery will tell the story of the heritage of the area and the FOIO will work with a variety of local partners such as Ingestre Arts, Ingestre Festival and local history groups to help deliver activities such as exhibitions, performances, talks and workshops. 

The FOIO will be seeking to extend their already committed base of volunteers to help achieve its aims and will be running training and recruitment events in coming months.

The history of Ingestre Orangery is tightly linked to that of Ingestre Hall, a Grade II* Listed building, which was built by Walter Chetwynd in 1613. The Orangery was used for growing exotic fruit and plants by the Chetwynd-Talbots and subsequently the Earls of Shrewsbury until 1959 when the estate was broken up and sold. Ingestre Hall, Ingestre Orangery and the surrounding land were bought, at that time, by West Bromwich Council as a residential arts centre for children which Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (MBC) has continued to own. In recent years the Orangery has become unused and had fallen into disrepair.  Sandwell MBC have granted the FOIO a 30-year lease with a peppercorn rent so it can be restored to a sustainable use by the community.  

Alison Knight, Executive Director – Neighbourhoods at Sandwell Council, said:
“It’s great news that the Friends of Ingestre Orangery has been successful in its bid for National Lottery funding. This is a testament to the commitment of the Friends who have worked tirelessly over a number of years, so that the Orangery can now be restored and redeveloped.
“The council has supported its bid by contributing a £50,000 grant so that design work to RIBA4 standards could be completed, as required, to support the application.
“We look forward to seeing the work being completed and continuing to work closely with the Friends.
“Future plans include using the Orangery as a dedicated space for heritage-related learning activities for the 2,800 Sandwell children and young people who visit Ingestre Hall each year.” They have also contributed significant resources to the project.  

The Orangery renovations have been part funded by the Staffordshire Leader Programme through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. Other funders include The Country Houses Foundation which is a charitable grant giving foundation. Their main aim is to support the preservation of buildings of historic or architectural significance together with their gardens and grounds, for the public benefit.

Commenting on the award, Gillian Broadbent (trustee and project lead), said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players and other funders.  Thanks to the commitment of many local volunteers, FOIO have been working hard to secure a sustainable future for the Orangery and involve the public in aspects of its work, so the heritage of Ingestre Orangery, Ingestre Hall and the wider area can be shared and enjoyed.”

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “I’m thrilled that we have been able to award National Lottery funding to the Friends of Ingestre Orangery to reclaim this historic building for the local community. This project will restore the Orangery and better share its rich history with visitors through a programme of exciting events.”

Friends of Ingestre Orangery     
Registered Charity No. 1147905     Charitable Company Registered in England Reg No. 07907112      Home Farm Court, Ingestre,Stafford ST18 0PZ

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