Editors Note: This is an archived blog post from 15/6/2012
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £1.85million to restore Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.
Thanks to this support, the Italianate villa of 84 Plymouth Grove, where the author of Cranford and North and South lived with her family for 15 years, will now be fully restored so that visitors can explore this heritage treasure and learn about the history of the building, and heritage of the Manchester in the time of the Gaskells.
The restoration will recreate the house to how it would have looked during the time when the Gaskells lived there. The period rooms will be preserved with exhibitions and interpretation detailing the society of the time. Learning spaces and education rooms will be created as part of the project, opening up Gaskell House to visitors of all ages to explore and enjoy.
Alongside this, community spaces will be created within the house so that it can be used by local people for a wide range of activities. Gaskell House is already used by community groups for meetings and events, and through the restoration work new facilities, including a new conference space will mean that many more people will be able to make use of this wonderful resource.
Hannah Barker, Professor of British History and Head of History at the University of Manchester is one of the members of the Heritage Lottery Fund Northwest Committee. Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 30,000 projects, allocating £4.9billion across the UK, including over £556million to the North West alone.