Belfast Telegraph

Restoration windfall for cemetery

The cemetery where famous names including suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst are buried is to be restored as part of a £26.5 million funding boost to conserve parks and green spaces.

Brompton Cemetery in west London, one of the capital's "magnificent seven" burial grounds, is the resting place of the leading campaigner for women's right to vote, as well as John Keats' fiancee Fanny Brawne and the inventor of the commercial Christmas card, Henry Cole.

The Grade I registered cemetery is to receive £3.7 million for restoration work, making it one of the first cemeteries to benefit from funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund's Parks For People scheme.

The latest round of the scheme sees 15 historic parks and cemeteries receiving a share of £26.5 million for work to restore landscapes, boost wildlife habitat and open or repair facilities for people to enjoy, the HLF and Big Lottery Fund said.

Brompton, one of the seven large London cemeteries - which also include Highgate and Kensal Green - established in Victorian times to ease over-crowding in city burial grounds, contains six listed buildings and more than 35,000 monuments.

As part of the work the Grade II* listed domed chapel, built in the style of the Basilica of St Peter in Rome, will be repaired and converted into a space for education and events, and the north lodge transformed into a cafe, information centre and base for volunteers.

Along with its most famous names, the cemetery is the burial ground of Chelsea Pensioners and Commonwealth servicemen from the First and Second World War, including 13 people awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military award.

Wrexham Cemetery in North Wales will also receive a grant of more than £1 million under the latest round of the Parks for People scheme, along with more than a dozen parks and green spaces around the country.

Carole Souter, chief executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: "Eighteen years of Lottery investment in our public parks has transformed tired and in some cases under used green spaces into thriving community hubs.

"Our historic cemeteries, with their wealth of heritage, also offer huge untapped potential and we're delighted now to include them specifically in this programme."

The 15 parks and cemeteries receiving funding under the programme include 11 receiving joint funding f rom the HLF and Big Lottery Fund and four receiving funding from the HLF only.

Sites receiving joint funding:

:: Lesnes Abbey Wood, Bexley - £3,468,000;

:: Wharton Park, Durham - £2,454,400;

:: Grosvenor and Hilbert Park, Tunbridge Wells - £2,358,100

:: Wyndham Park, Grantham - £875,900;

:: Brompton Cemetery, London - £3,777,800;

:: Chase Park, Whickham, Gateshead - £987,800;

:: Bowring Park, Knowsley - £1,937,300;

:: Winckley Square, Preston - £894,200;

:: Rhyddings Park, Oswaldtwistle - £1,461,900;

:: Peel Park, Salford - £1,408,500;

:: Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa - £901,000.

HLF-only funded grants:

:: Belleisle Park, Ayrshire - £1,938,400

:: Hermitage Park, Argyll and Bute - £2,087,200

:: Wrexham Cemetery Project - £1,048,600

:: Warrenpoint Park, Newry - £932,000

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