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New £2m listed buildings fund announced

The Architectural Heritage Fund is to award grants of up to £200,000 from a new £2 million scheme to preserve historic buildings

The ‘Challenge Fund’ is jointly backed by a £1 million donation from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and a £1 million cash injection from English Heritage.

The funding is designed to help preservation trusts and volunteer groups support Grade I and II listed buildings such as country houses, churches and industrial buildings.

Trusts and other groups struggling to maintain or restore at-risk sites are invited to apply for funding, English Heritage added.

Chief executive Simon Thurley said: ‘This is a pioneering new venture for the heritage world between a public body with national expertise, a charity with a grass roots network and the charitable foundation of a major philanthropist.’

Building preservation trusts play a key role in rescuing heritage, with groups saving buildings ranging from Pakenham Water Mill, Bury St Edmunds to Richmond railway station building, North Yorkshire and the Plaza, Stockport, in recent years – it is claimed.

Potential recipients of funding could include schemes to save the Victoria pavilion at Morecambe Winter Gardens, the Foster, Rastrick & Co Foundry in Stourbridge and Dawe’s Twine Works in West Coker, Somerset.

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