Funding success for the Foxlowe

Foxlowe Arts Centre has received a National Lottery grant of £100,000 for a two and a half year programme of urgent repairs to the Foxlowe building, together with a programme of heritage and arts activities designed to tell the story of Foxlowe and its inhabitants over 250 years. With support through the Heritage Lottery Fund, plus critical additional support from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and Staffordshire County Council, this project will address the urgent need to make the most vulnerable parts of this Grade II listed building properly and completely watertight: stopping further deterioration, eliminating rot in the 18th century roof, removing failed cement render trapping damp and replacing with lime render, and repairing copings, rainwater goods and rotten windows.

In an exciting collaboration with Leek and District Historical Society, Borderland Voices, Buxton and Leek College, and Northern International Theatre, this project will tell the story of Foxlowe and its occupants over two and a half centuries – wealthy private owners, a Red Cross hospital, a key textile Trade Union, a night club, and now an Arts Centre; and of their influence on local culture and society.

Building on previous arts and heritage activities, we will use community arts outreach to pioneer new access to heritage, and media from theatre to visual arts to revitalise archives and showcase original research. Further details of this will be launched in the Autumn.

Commenting on the award, Foxlowe Trust Chairman Chris Thompson said: “This is great news. The Heritage Lottery award is an endorsement of Foxlowe: both as a significant part of Leek architecture, and as a place that can bring people together to share and celebrate their history and culture.

“There is still a huge amount to do to restore the interior, to make the building accessible for all, and to improve the performance space.  But that’s for the future.  Meanwhile we depend on the goodwill of hundreds of volunteers and the regular financial support of our 250 pledgers to keep us going.  We are continuing to fundraise, and I am sure National Lottery support will help give other funders the confidence to back us.”

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, added: “We have been delighted to support Foxlowe Arts Centre to carry out urgent repairs and engage new audiences with this much-loved local landmark. Thank you to the National Lottery players who have made it possible.”