Temperate House wins funding

Heritage Lottery Fund support allows work to proceed on glasshouse conservation programme.

Grade I listed Temperate House houses collection of palms - image: RBG Kew
Grade I listed Temperate House houses collection of palms - image: RBG Kew

The world's largest surviving Victorian glass structure has struck lottery fortune to set Kew Gardens on its way to a £28m upgrade.

The grade I Temperate House, home to the largest indoor plant - a Chilean wine palm - won support for the project with £890,900 development funding.

Ambitious plans include urgent conservation to the glass house, designed by world-famous 19th century architect Decimus Burton and home to a vast collection of palms.

Plants will be restructured and an adjoining building is set to become a community centre. The cash will also pay for a new apprenticeship, volunteer and education programmes.

Kew director Professor Steve Hopper said: "The structure needs a complete overhaul and the project will take around eight years. We hope to get match funding."

Heritage Lottery Fund chief executive Carole Souter said: "The gardens are one of this country's best loved heritage sites. Initial support for the conservation plans will ensure the future of the Temperate House and put learning and local community at the heart of Kew's future activities."

Lottery chair Dame Jenny Abramsky said funding decisions this year were some of the hardest ever made because of the diversity and high quality of the projects: "The projects we are supporting are exemplary and will make an impact on people's experience of heritage."

Other lottery winners included Hastings Pier, vintage boats on Lake Windermere, the British Museum and Geffrye Museum. All can now start development.

Heritage and tourism minister John Penrose said: "As more people stay at home it's great to see these imaginative projects winning through."

KEYSTAT

Cost of restoration work for the Temperate House at RBG Kew

£28m


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