BackSTATEMENT | Ancoats Dispensary gets Heritage Lottery Fund Permission to Start

Campaigners buoyed by Lottery green light but fundraising campaign continues

The campaign to save historic Ancoats Dispensary has received another vote of confidence from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has officially granted ‘Permission to Start’ the development phase of the project to safeguard and restore the building.

‘Permission to Start’ is given by the HLF when it judges that recipients of its grants are in a position to meet the conditions attached to the funding.

The campaign was awarded £771,000 in July last year as part of the HLF’s Heritage Enterprise programme, funding designed to help preserve historic buildings, where restoration costs might otherwise be prohibitive. Trust Coordinator, Linda Carver said, ‘Being granted Permission to Start the development phase has been a real boost to morale.’ 

The Ancoats Dispensary Trust is set to take ownership of the building from Urban Splash soon. ‘This is a huge step forward’, said Karen Houghton, Chief Executive of the Trust. ‘We will become the official custodians of the Dispensary and will be in a position to begin safeguarding work.’ 

Emergency health and safety work was undertaken in November last year, giving the Trust valuable extra time to raise essential funds for the safeguarding and to develop the vision to planning.

However, campaigners stressed the need to keep up momentum raising match funding from business and the community. ‘The HLF grant covers a large proportion of each cost incurred, but Ancoats Dispensary Trust still has to find the rest of the money to safeguard the building and fund the development work’, said Linda. 

The campaign has been further bolstered by a time extension granted by Spacehive, the Trust’s crowdfunding site.

Chris Gourlay, Founder and CEO of Spacehive, said ‘We are happy to extend the Ancoats Dispensary Trust’s fundraising deadline until the end of March. The campaign to save the Dispensary is just the sort of community project Spacehive is designed to support. There’s been a surge in donations recently and we hope it will continue.”

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Contact: Amy Grace Whillans-Weldrake

Number: 07949 816043