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Jul 19 2012

Harrow Council on the Cusp of Historic Restoration

An ambitious redevelopment of Harrow’s historic Headstone Manor and museum could be on the cards, if Harrow Council’s vision for the site is given the go-ahead.

Armed with dramatic restoration plans, Harrow Council’s Cabinet members will be asked to give their backing to an application for Heritage Lottery Funding, the first step in a proposal to transform the site into a strategic heritage centre for the borough.

A successful application for a round 1 grant would allow the development of plans to upgrade and restorate the Manor and other buildings – providing local residents and visitors with a high quality community museum, heritage and community venue.

If approved by Cabinet on Thursday 19th July, a funding application will be made which could result in almost £2million – The Council will match part of the project funding with its own capital monies.

Highlights of the restoration plans include:

  • Headstone Manor – to provide a new home for Harrow Museum, additional visitor facilities and community/ volunteer spaces
  • The Small Barn – shop/ café with outside space for seating in the rose garden
  • The Granary – A new learning and education hub (Classroom facilities and community resources)
  • The Tithe Barn – New function space for events and functions

Portfolio Holder for Community and Cultural Services, Cllr David Perry said:

“These are ambitions and important plans for what is an historic site in Harrow. Headstone Manor is of regional and indeed national significance and despite the on-going financial pressures we are under, we need to find a way to fully restore this local treasure.

“We have looked at all options and believe that by applying for outside funding support, Harrow Council has the chance to develop and restore this exciting facility for generations to come.

“We are a culturally rich borough and are lucky to live in an area of natural beauty and history, our residents want us to safeguard and protect these amenities, something we are committed to doing.”

Why restoration is needed?

Headstone Manor in particular is currently in a poor physical state and requires major refurbishment before it can be fully opened to the public. All of the buildings on site are listed by English Heritage and the site as a whole is a scheduled Ancient Monument.

Harrow Council approved funding of £300,000 to make repairs to the roof at the Manor in March this year and a further £250,000 has been earmarked in the 2012/2013 capital budget for works to Harrow Museum Buildings.

The proposals being made by Harrow Council would ensure that the while site would be economically viable and restore the site for the benefit of the whole community. Currently Headstone Manor, the jewel in the crown of the site, is inaccessible to the majority of visitors.

If approved by Cabinet next week, Harrow Council will lodge an application for Round 1 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Source: Harrow Council

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