The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a grant of £3.45 million towards the National Trust’s appeal to reinvigorate Winston Churchill’s legacy and acquire many of his personal objects at his family home Chartwell in Kent.
The conservation charity launched its ‘Churchill’s Chartwell’ appeal in September to raise £7.1 million.
Since then, nearly £2 million has been raised from around the world from members, supporters, charitable trusts and the Royal Oak Foundation – the Trust’s membership affiliate in the US.
The HLF grant brings the total raised so far to nearly £5.5 million and the National Trust is hoping that more supporters will come forward to help reach the appeal target.
All monies raised will not only help to secure in perpetuity many personal items that belonged to Churchill but will enable new interpretation across the property, increased access to the collections and the opening of family rooms that have never been seen by the public, including Churchill’s bedroom.
An important part of the appeal, launched in the 50th anniversary of the opening of Chartwell to the public, is to acquire for the nation hundreds of precious heirlooms, many of international significance, that have been on long term loan to the property.
The items include Churchill’s library of inscribed books, medallions, gifts and awards that he received from around the world, including his Nobel Prize in Literature, along with personal and poignant mementoes such as the speech box in which he stored notes for his famous speeches.
Katherine Barnett, Chartwell’s House and Collections Manager says:
“It is a considerable boost at this stage in the appeal to have received such a generous grant from the HLF. This brings us a lot closer to being able to achieve our vision for Chartwell, and we are very grateful to them and to National Lottery players.
“Chartwell holds a special place in the hearts of many people and we have been delighted at the response we have had to our appeal from supporters, visitors, charitable trusts and foundations. We want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has made a donation.
“We are well on our way to achieving our appeal goal but we’re not quite there yet and are continuing with our fundraising efforts. Every donation makes a difference, no matter how small, and we hope our supporters can help us in this final push to reach our target.
“A successful fundraising appeal will not only allow us to secure the historic collection for everyone to enjoy but enable us to tell Churchill’s story in new and dynamic ways as part of our wider plans for Chartwell so that one of the leading figures of the twentieth century remains accessible to people of all ages.”
Ros Kerslake, CEO of HLF, says:
“Chartwell is synonymous with Sir Winston Churchill. It tells the story of the latter years of Churchill’s life and showcases his passion for writing, painting and gardening. With the help of National Lottery players, we are proud to be playing a part in protecting Churchill’s legacy and reminding visitors to this wonderful National Trust site of the important role he continues to play in our national psyche.”
Laurence S. Geller CBE, Chairman of the International Churchill Society says:
“The National Trust’s project to preserve Churchill’s legacy and share it with the public in new ways is tremendously important for young people today and future generations. Through Chartwell and the stories of Churchill’s life there, we can learn so much about history, public service and leadership – profound lessons which remain as relevant to our world now as ever.”
The National Trust aims to reach the appeal target of £7.1m by January 2017 in order to secure the collection and enable the wider project work to begin.
Many of the objects in the appeal can be seen in Chartwell’s current exhibition ‘Child of the Commons’ which follows the extraordinary political career of Winston Churchill from his youth, through two world wars and two terms as Prime Minister. For details visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell.
Objects from the appeal can also be seen in videos on the National Trust website.
Money can be donated to the appeal by:
- Making a donation online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell-revive
- Making a donation over the phone by calling 0344 800 1895