We are delighted that this fabulous building has got its round 1 Heritage Lottery grant. Well done!
The West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Lye and Wollescote building conservation project, it was announced today. The project aims to repair the rare redundant listed building in Cemetery Road, Lye – comprised of identical Anglican and Non-conformist chapels – and bring them back into sustainable community and commercial use.
Development funding of £42,300 has been awarded to help the West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust progress their plans to apply for a full grant of just under £850,000 at a later date. Provided that the full grant is awarded in due course, the Trust hopes to carry out the necessary building work in 2014 in what is estimated will be a £1.15 million scheme.
In addition an educational programme is to be planned, to enable people to understand more about the heritage importance of the chapels building and the associated cemetery, with the intention to provide opportunities for local people and schools to get involved. A project website will also be developed, providing on-line public access to information about the building, its history and the conservation project.
The local landmark building and beauty spot, originally a Victorian landscaped park, is a rare surviving example of two chapels within a single building. The site which is currently owned by Dudley Council was severely at risk due to lack of use when volunteers at the West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust stepped in to save the historic building. Now the Trust is working towards taking full ownership of the building under an arrangement called ‘asset transfer’, with this being an important pilot project supported by the Council.
Chair of the West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust Bob Tolley said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support and really excited to be involved with saving this building because it means so much to local people. It is not only a place of great historical importance, it is also a lovely quiet place where the local community can escape the daily hustle and bustle. Thanks are due to many people who have worked with tireless enthusiasm over many years in order to reach this point.”
Reyahn King, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the West Midlands, said: “We’re extremely pleased to give initial support to this project, which aims to bring to life these rare Chapels so that they may benefit the community once more. We shall watch the developing plans with interest.”