England, London & South: Committee decisions September 2023
SFF Delivery Round Applications
Leas Lift: Restoring Folkestone's gem for the community
Applicant: The Folkestone Leas Lift Company CIO
Project description: To restore and reopen the at risk Grade II* Listed Leas Lift in Folkestone, Kent, and ensure a viable future for a nationally significant heritage asset. The site will have wo functions; a mode of transport from the Leas to the seafront and Lower Coastal Park, and a heritage attraction displaying interpretation throughout, with information and objects focusing on the history, architecture and engineering of the Lift. It will provide activities and volunteering opportunities to improve the wellbeing of participants.
Grant request: £4,805,435
Decision: Award grant of £4,805,435 (71%)
St John's Chatham – Heritage at Risk – Saved and Transformed into a Gateway Community Hub
Applicant: The Rochester Diocesan Society & Board Of Finance
Project description: To carry out repairs to the Grade II* Listed St John the Divine Church in Chatham and remove it from the at risk register. The closed, dilapidated building will be transformed into a vibrant and financially stable Gateway Community Hub, which will be a significant asset to the community and boost the local economy. It will serve as a place of worship as well as a meeting and activity space for businesses, education and the community. It will also be used as a conference and performance space and will be complete with a café.
Grant request: £2,318,287
Decision: Award grant of £2,318,287 (63%)
SFF Development Round Applications
Napper Cottage – A new future for the first Cottage Hospital in England
Applicant: Cranleigh Heritage Trust
Project description: To restore the Grade II listed cottage hospital with links to the creation of the NHS. It will act as a hub for the community and used for heritage displays and meetings. A digital archive, oral histories and interviews will preserve the stories of the people who used and worked in the hospital, with interpretation covering the story of the original surgery in 1859 and celebrating the start of the NHS in 1948.
Grant request: £58,700
Decision: Award development grant of £58,700 (73%) and potential delivery grant of £627,247 (86%)
Turning the Wheel, Our Future is in the Making
Applicant: MAKE Southwest
Project description: To repair and reconfigure MAKE Southwest’s base at Grade II listed Riverside Mill in Bovey Tracey, Devon. The project aims to address the decline of red-listed heritage crafts through the delivery of apprenticeships, exhibitions and public engagement. Activities will target young people, low-income households and communities experiencing rural isolation or financial exclusion from heritage and culture.
Grant request: £207,454
Decision: Reject development grant of £207,454 (76%) and a potential delivery
grant of £2,232,757 (83%)
The Chinatown Story Centre: an immersive visitor experience to document, interpret and celebrate Chinatown's heritage stories, objects and assets from 1945 – 2025
Applicant: China Exchange UK
Project description: To deliver a programme of heritage gathering and address a gap in heritage resource and interpretation within Chinatown. This work will contribute to economic and community recovery of the area following Covid-19. Using an existing community collection, heritage sources and objects and new community material, storyboards will be developed to shape artist residencies and university led XR extended realities.
Grant request: £298,964
Decision: Reject development grant of £298,964 (86%) and potential delivery grant of £2,966,896 (87%)
Creating Futures at Alice Billings House
Applicant: Creative Land Trust
Project description: To restore the Grade II Listed North block and South block of Alice Billings House in central Stratford, London Borough of Newham. It aims to regenerate and give a sustainable new use to the historic West Ham Fire Brigade buildings, converting them into 15 artists’ studios and engaging visitors through a programme of events and activities. This includes studio work, a new publicly accessible courtyard and café, and a heritage education programme offering employment and skills-development opportunities.
Grant request: £467,172
Decision: Award development grant of £467,172 (90%) and potential delivery grant of £2,726,177 (72%)
Heritage Enterprise – Royal Arcade: work and leisure destination in historic Boscombe
Applicant: Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council
Project description: To bring the Grade II listed Victorian Royal Arcade – on Boscombe’s high street – back into viable economic use, to revitalise its retail offer and create new office workspaces. The restoration will create a cultural and community resource that displays the building’s architectural and social heritage. The project offers a range of accessible activities and learning opportunities, including traditional and digital schemes, art exhibitions and pop-up exhibitions.
Grant request: £84,669
Decision: Award development grant of £84,669 (95%) and potential delivery grant of £3,915,331 (32%)
Rediscovering East India Dock
Applicant: Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Project description: A landscape and nature project to restore the East India Dock Basin (EIDB), the only remaining entrance for the East India Docks. The aim is to enable full use by local communities and improve connectivity and accessibility within the wider area. Project activity will promote the natural heritage and biodiversity of EIDB, the wider maritime, Dockland and East India Company, and community heritage. It will offer a range of events and a strong volunteering programme, improving the wellbeing of the local residents.
Grant request: £214,600
Decision: Reject development grant of £214,600 (72%) and potential delivery grant of £3,825,626 (73%)
Forest Gate Park – Lucel Tate remembered
Applicant: London Borough of Newham
Project description: To restore Forest Gate Park in London Borough of Newham and record and celebrate its heritage, the pioneering work of Lucel Tate and the significance of the site for local biodiversity. The project aims to enhance local use and provide wellbeing benefits, skills development, learning and volunteering opportunities. This will happen alongside connecting the site’s green infrastructure to adjoining wildlife corridors, strengthening biodiversity resilience.
Grant request: £86,541
Decision: Award development grant of £86,541 (90%) and potential delivery grant of £904,141 (90%)
Connecting People and Landscapes in a changing climate
Applicant: The Bat Conservation Trust
Project description: This project aims to better understand and improve conditions for nine focal species across South and East Devon, by increasing knowledge of the impacts of climate change and other landscape pressures. By supporting a network of farms to explore regenerative farming methods and effective woodland management, it will promote and deliver habitat improvements and deliver a programme of training opportunities, networking events and mentoring activities.
Grant request: £727,590
Decision: Award development grant of £727,590 (89%) and potential delivery grant of £1,523,122 (47%)