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dRMM’s Hastings Pier bags HLF jackpot

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dRMM’s competition-winning scheme to redevelop Hastings’ fire-damaged pier has landed £8.75  million worth of Heritage Lottery funding

The pier is among five sites which in line for a share of a £52 million Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) cash pot, announced today.

The scheme to rebuild the pier – which was almost completely destroyed by an arson attack in October last year – has received ‘initial approval’ and a £357,400 development cash boost.

dRMM director Alex de Rijke said: ‘This enlightened allocation of cultural funding is important not only because Hastings & St Leonards mourns their burnt Pier, but because the Trustees and the Council (with the more recent help of dRMM) have worked very hard to secure and envisage a legitimate future for the structure.

‘The HLF’s commitment validates and enables the Trust’s business case and emerging brief. Everybody involved in the project is delighted the project can now move from volunteering to vision.

‘With this good news, and as the consultation period progresses, dRMM will respond with their first design proposals.’

The pier once played host to musical greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley and Pink Floyd.

A total of 54 practices entered the competition to restore the pier which opened in 1872 and was designed by Eugenius Birch, architect of Brighton’s now ruined West Pier.

Meanwhile, the Victorian Grade I-listed Temperate House at Kew Botanic Gardens in London has won initial approval for £15m funding from HLF.

If awarded, the money will go towards a £28m restoration programme for the glasshouse and its surrounding landscape.

The Royal Botanic Gardens has been given £890,900 funding to develop plans for the Temperate House, the world’s largest surviving Victorian glass structure.

The government is underwriting a ‘substantial’ portion of the remaining £13m needed after the HLF grant has been secured, promising to step in with support if the money cannot be found elsewhere.

Philanthropists Eddie and Sue Davis have also pledged their support.

Royal Botanic Gardens director, professor Stephen Hopper said: ‘The Temperate House is an iconic World Heritage structure that is an important part of the UK’s rich architectural heritage.

‘HLF’s initial support for the project along with underwriting from Defra and the support of Eddie and Sue Davies has given us great momentum to launch further fundraising and bring the restoration project to fruition.’

The other projects which have been given initial support from the HLF include the Windermere Steamboat Museum in the Lake District to reinvigorate the collection of 40 vintage vessels and provide boat conservation apprenticeships.

The British Museum World Conservation and Exhibition Centre project has won initial backing for developing the museum’s north-west corner of its Bloomsbury site; and the Geffrye Museum, which is set in the former almshouses of the Ironmongers’ Company, has also landed backing for its plans for a comprehensive redevelopment of its site.

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