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£52M heritage fund for Victorian pier and glasshouse

Hastings pier and a Royal Botanic Gardens glasshouse in Kew are among five sites which could be in line for a share of £52M from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

An £8.75M local community bid to restore the Victorian pier at Hastings in East Sussex has been given initial approval, including £357,400 cash to boost development of the plans.

The pier, which closed in 2006 and was damaged by a fire last year, once played host to musical greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley and Pink Floyd.

Meanwhile the Victorian Grade I listed Temperate House at Kew 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, set in the former almshouses of the Ironmongers’ Company, which looks at the history of the home, has plans for a comprehensive redevelopment of its site .

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