New Abbey Quarter funding bid set to launch

by Jim Dunton Fri 3 January 2014, 4:45 pm

A fresh bid for lottery funding to help conserve Reading's historic Abbey Quarter is set to be launched next month.

Reading Borough Council has announced that it will submit a new application to the Heritage Lottery Fund seeking assistance to pay for site-wide interpretation, pedestrian signage, and a programme of events for the Abbey Ruins and Abbey Gate as part of a drive to increase awareness of the area’s heritage.

It said the Abbey Quarter - defined by the medieval streets and rivers that outline the abbey’s precinct - had been the traditional civic and ceremonial heart of the town since the 12th Century.

As well as showing evidence of a royal residence, civil war defences, Jane Austen's school, Victorian public gardens, and Oscar Wilde's infamous Reading Gaol, the quarter also boasts buildings by famous architects including Sir John Soane, Pugin, and Sir George Gilbert Scott.

Councillor Paul Gittings, Reading’s culture lead, said the quarter was a “jewel” in the town’s crown.

“The council has a long-standing ambition not only to conserve it for future generations to enjoy but to promote it for residents and visitors,” he said.

“There was obviously disappointment that previous attempts to gain funding haven’t been successful, but we are determined to put forward a bid in February which takes on board all of the feedback received from previous bids.”

The council did not specify the anticipated value of the bid.

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