Torre Abbey Secures Culture Assets Funding
Torre Abbey in Torquay has been awarded £363,748 from the Cultural Assets Fund (CAF); a £20 million government funding stream to protect heritage assets in England from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The additional funding provided by Torbay Council and the Friends of Torre Abbey, total £404,165 which will fund a project to conserve and repair Torre Abbey’s southeast wing, Courtyard 4 and the tower next to the Learning Suite.
The CAF is administered by the National Heritage Memorial Fund and is part of. £40 million UK-wide COVID-19 Response Fund to safeguard, nationally, the important heritage sites which are at risk due to the pandemic. The COVID-19 response fund includes the £20 million Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport CAF made available to heritage organisations in England, boosted further by an additional £20 million NHMF funds to support UK-wide organisations.
The project will address water ingress and improve ventilation by completing parapet and window repairs, repairing masonry, and repointing, replacing cement render with lime, repairing internal plaster finishes and replacing inadequate rainwater goods. Torre Abbey also requires a spot of urgent landscaping works which will lower the ground to original levels and replace with Cedex to improve drainage and prevent further water ingress.
The news comes on the back of Torre Abbey securing almost £500k from the Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND) earlier this year. The MEND fund is being matched by Torbay Council investment totalling £471.715k and funding from the Friends of Torre Abbey to the tune of £23.450. It is this fund that will be used to conserve, repair and make safe the Abbey’s 14th Venture Gatehouse and Southwest Wing.
The joint investments mean a total of £1.4 million is being used to restore and protect Torbay’s most historic building which is owned by Torbay Council.
Work on the project is expected to start in January 2023, with Torre Abbey remaining open throughout. Interpretation and a variety of projects will keep the local community up to date with work being carried out as part of this exciting project that will protect the Abbey for future generations to enjoy.
Cllr Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing for Torbay Council, said
“This is fantastic news for Torre Abbey, in a year when almost £4.4 million in grant funding has been awarded to support Torbay’s heritage. The Torbay Heritage Strategy was created to help people better engage with heritage sites and successes like these shows that our work alongside our community partners is now paying dividends.”
Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member of Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said;
“Congratulations to the team at Torre Abbey for their hard work in putting another successful funding bid together. Torre Abbey is not only a scheduled ancient monument, it’s a multi-award-winning visitor attraction and centre for the arts. This funding and the additional kind support from the Friends of Torre Abbey will open up parts of the buildings that are currently closed.”
Dr Simon Thurley CBE of the National Heritage Fund said:
“I am delighted to announce our support for Torre Abbey, a scheduled ancient monument of national significance and an incredibly important part of the tourism offer in Devon.”
“Like so many of our beloved heritage sites, Torre Abbey has been impacted by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This government grant, allocated by the National Heritage Memorial Fund, will enable urgent conservation work to go ahead and open up new parts of the buildings for visitors to enjoy as they return to this fantastic heritage site.”
Heritage Minister, Nigel Huddleston concluded:
“Torre Abbey has stood for almost a thousand years and we hope our funding for the ancient site will help make sure it’s preserved for many more years to come.
“The Abbey is an important tourist attraction, and our support will mean more of the building is available for visitors to enjoy.”