BAC wins lottery cash

Published: Thursday 20th December 12

The council has welcomed confirmation of the news that Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) is to receive a grant of £2.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The money will be used to help fund conservation work to protect the Victorian fabric of the arts centre and also to create a publicly accessible archive of BAC's history.

BAC is working with specialist architects Haworth Tompkins to create a 21st century theatre in a 19th century building. Battersea Town Hall is Grade II* listed and has been BAC's home for over 30 years.

Wandsworth Council owns the building's freehold and has granted BAC a 125 year lease, giving it the freedom to make long term plans for its future.

The council has also provided BAC with a ten year rent free period so that it can focus on delivering cutting edge arts and entertainments at the same time as using all its resources to safeguard and preserve its iconic home for future generations.

Culture spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: "This is great news for BAC. This Heritage Lottery Fund money will help preserve this iconic venue for many years to come.

"BAC is one of the country's best loved and most influential theatres. It is at the cutting edge of performance art in the UK.

"Credit for its success must go to its management who have drawn up exciting and ambitious plans to build on this success.

"I am also pleased that the council has been able to play a supporting role in this process. The arrangements with the lease and the ten year rent holiday have given BAC the scope and the freedom to plan its future on a long term basis and enabled it to develop solid and coherent business plans for future investment.

"It has also helped ensure that Wandsworth residents have one of Britain's finest theatres on their doorsteps."

The council also provides an annual grant worth £95,000 under a contractual arrangement to provide a range of artistic provision for the borough, including working with local schools.

David Jubb, BAC's artistic director and CEO said: "We are delighted to have received this award from the Heritage Lottery Fund which will help us to restore and renew Battersea Art Centre's Town Hall home, and to invent its future by celebrating and learning from its past."

Carole Souter, CEO of the Heritage Lottery Fund said: "Battersea Old Town Hall has been the scene of memorable cultural and political activity for more than a century and sits at the heart of its local community. We loved BAC's innovative conservation plans - which will preserve the spirit of the building and give it a modern twist into the bargain - and are delighted to be supporting them with an HLF grant of £2.5m."

For more information about the arts centre's plans visit www.bac.org.uk.

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, it has invested in every part of the country's diverse heritage.  HLF has supported more than 33,000 projects with more than £5billion across the UK.  For more information visit www.hlf.org.uk.

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