The Chamberlain Highbury Trust
October Newsletter

Development Phase Funding Secured!
We are extremely pleased to announce that the Trust awarded £368,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to restore Chamberlain’s Highbury

The Chamberlain Highbury Trust are delighted to have received a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to support the Trust’s plans to restore Highbury, Joseph Chamberlain’s family home in Birmingham.

Highbury – the mansion and the gardens – needs a lot of work to restore and refurbish the estate. The Trust has made a good start, with the gardens improved thanks to significant grants obtained from Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund . Now, the announcement of this new Lottery grant means that the Trustees can start planning for a programme of major improvements over the next four years.

Former Chair of the Trustees, Les Sparks, says:

“We have worked as a Trust for 6 years to get to this very significant position. In that time we have demonstrated our ability to manage Highbury and deliver improvements on time and to budget. We are all thrilled that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has recognised this and entrusted us with a Development Grant.”

Obtaining funding from the National Lottery for the restoration works is a two-stage process, the first stage being this Development Grant. The Trust will receive £ 368,000. This is 59% of the total approved development work cost of £619,000 towards the Development Phase of the restoration project. The Trust has in place the 41% matched funding required to carry out the Development Phase.

Provided the Trust manages the Development Phase competently, this will open the door for a second stage Lottery grant of a more substantial sum for the Delivery Phase.

Les Sparks, has just retired as Chair from the Trust Board and David Kidney was appointed a Chair of Trustee at the AGM. David says he is excited to take on responsibility for the Trust at such a momentous time in the Trust’s development:

“I am fortunate to be taking on my role as the Trust’s Chair at just the time when we as a Trust will have the wherewithal to undertake a major restoration project at Highbury. Our ambition is to restore the estate to a sound condition and a sustainable economic future. But in addition, we want to welcome into Highbury modern Birmingham. We will continue to build our youth leadership programme and our engagement with our neighbouring communities in Kings Heath, Moseley and Stirchley. We will offer opportunities for our neighbours to join us and make use of these beautiful surroundings. We also intend to work to high standards of environmental sustainability. We want to be this generation’s custodian of a visitor attraction and working environment that Birmingham can be proud of.” 

Anne Jenkins, Director, England, Midlands & East, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“We are delighted to support this project that aims to restore Joseph Chamberlain’s family home of Highbury to its former glory, whilst also adapting it for 21st century use. Funding will help The Trust develop a programme of exciting events to attract visitors, as well as create space for local, small businesses. Many thanks to National Lottery players for their help in supporting the Trust’s initiatives like the youth leadership programme, that will enable people from neighbouring communities to add their footprint to this historically important Birmingham heritage site.”

We will be holding meetings at Highbury for our supporters, stakeholders and neighbours to come and see further plans and feed in your thoughts at this critical phase of development. Further details to follow.

Other Funds are also supporting the Development Phase

The Chamberlain Highbury Trust has been awarded £43,000 to assist with project development costs.

The Chamberlain Highbury Trust is delighted to have been awarded grants from the Pilgrim Trust (£24,000), The Grimmitt Trust (£3,000) and The Architectural Heritage Fund (£16,000) totalling £43,000 to support the development costs associated with our planned Round 2 application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) for Highbury and its gardens.

These grants will contribute towards the conservation and management and maintenance plans for the mansion and grounds and specialist surveys and working with a fundraiser to secure the funds needed for the restoration works.

The Chamberlain Highbury Trust’s vision presents a whole range of opportunities to deliver environmentally sustainable heritage. Its Youth Board has a strong interest in the environment and by enabling leadership on these issues they will develop a long-term strategy.

For the mansion restoration, the focus will be on building sustainably and energy innovation. In the grounds the aim is to increase biodiversity and deliver a second phase of capital works including pond restoration, wetlands protection and further access improvements.


The Chamberlain Highbury Trust’s Ambition

As well as restoring the architecturally distinguished and historically significant Highbury Mansion and Grounds; By 2026, this historic place will have become a centre for incubator businesses, cultural events and neighbourhood activities to drive inclusive growth with economic, social and environmental benefits. By developing the leadership skills of Birmingham’s diverse young people within Highbury, the Chamberlain Highbury Trust will act as catalyst for radical thinking and approaches, distinctive of Birmingham, fostering collaboration between micro businesses, social enterprises and the heritage and creative industries. Located between the creative communities of Kings Heath, Moseley and Stirchley, Highbury will be a centre for neighbourhood dynamism, part of a wider local and regional ecosystem.

Through partnerships with over 50 organisations, Highbury will support skills development and quality of life, wellbeing and place making, the key determinants of economic renewal of neighbourhoods in a post pandemic Birmingham.

A huge thank you to the volunteers and supporters who have made this possible please stick with us on the next stage of our journey!
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The Chamberlain Highbury Trust · 4 Yew Tree Rd · Birmingham, West Midlands B13 8QG · United Kingdom