The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has just announced that the Inspired by Knole project qualifies for a ‘first round pass’. This means that the HLF is recognising the project’s potential, and that the Knole team can now develop a detailed business plan for it.
The aim of Inspired by Knole is to improve the state of conservation of the house and its collections ad to put it on the map as one of the UK’s most spectacular examples of a combined Tudor palace and Renaissance mansion.
Plans for the project include the rewiring of the building, the installation of conservation heating and the creation of an on-site conservation studio which will be open to visitors.
In addition the Knole team wants to open up more of the attics and tower rooms to the public, to develop new ways of volunteering and to make Knole a centre of heritage skills training.
The HLF will make its final decision about the £7.5 million grant application in 2013, but this initial response is very encouraging and will help the National Trust with its other fundraising towards Inspired by Knole.
The ongoing behind-the-scenes work at Knole can be followed on the Knole Conservation Team Blog.