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The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation is contributing £1million over five years to a "Challenge Fund for Historic Buildings at Risk".  The Foundation's contribution is being matched by English Heritage ( and the total fund of £2million will be managed by The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF), an independent charity which has supported the restoration and beneficial new use of historic buildings since 1976.

The Challenge Fund is targeted at the most important buildings at risk in England, those listed at Grade I and Grade II* and which appear on the Heritage at Risk register, and the Fund is open only to registered charities.  Support from the Fund will include capital grants, in some cases up to £200,000 per project, plus advice and guidance, and applicants will work with the AHF and English Heritage to develop sustainable and viable plans for buildings.  One of the main assessment criteria of the Challenge Fund will be that any project to be supported must include a "viable and sustainable end use for the building, benefiting the wider community".  It is expected that funding for projects from the Challenge Fund will act as "pump-priming" money, encouraging financial support from other public and charitable sector funding bodies.



Sheffield Cemetery Trust - South Yorkshire Building Preservation Trust

A grant has been awarded to the Sheffield General Cemetery Trust which is working with the South Yorkshire Building Preservation Trust to bring the cemetery's neo-classical Non-Conformist Chapel into use as a community and arts venue, expanding the range of activities the Trust currently runs within the cemetery.  It is hoped that the project will be a catalyst for the regeneration of the General Cemetery as a whole, which was one of the first commercial landscape cemeteries in the UK.  The Non-Conformist Chapel (1836) is one of nine listed buildings and monuments, including unique catacombs.  The cemetery is listed on English Heritage's Register of Historic Parks and Gardens and in 2010 the whole cemetery was designated as "at risk".


Blackfell Hauler House, Bowes Railway Incline, Birtley, Gateshead - Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust

The Bowes Railway, a Scheduled Monument, is one of the earliest and best-preserved examples of a rope haulage railway in the country.  Attributed to George Stephenson, it was a system for transporting coal from the North Durham Coalfield to ships moored on the River Tyne.  Amongst the buildings on the site are two hauler houses, built to accommodate the machinery which powered the ropeway.  Blackfell Hauler House is in a state of disrepair, with its machinery either stolen or vandalised to such an extent that English Heritage has agreed it can be stripped out and the building reused.  Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust is working with the Bowes Railway Company to refurbish the building for use as a bunkhouse and an education space to complement the existing activities at the site, which is a working museum.  Work is planned to start in September 2013.


Sandycombe Lodge, 40 Sandycombe Road, Twickenham, London - Turner's House Trust

Built in 1812, Sandycombe Lodge was designed by the artist JMW Turner as a country retreat from which he mounted painting expeditions.  The property was bequeathed to the Sandycombe Lodge Trust (now renamed the Turner's House Trust) by its last owner in 2005, together with a large collection of prints, drawings and books.  The house came into the Trust's possession following the owner's death in 2010 and a proposal has been developed to repair and restore the house, creating a visitor attraction to promote worldwide understanding of Turner, his life and work in Twickenham, and his contribution to landscape painting.  Partnerships have been developed with institutions including the Strawberry Hill Trust and the Royal Academy.  The Heritage Lottery Fund is considering the Trust's Round 1 bid for funding in June 2013.


Please click here for details of the grants awarded from The Challenge Fund in 2012.



Please click here to read the press release of 2011 grants.


The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation will channel all of its heritage grant giving through The Architectural Heritage Fund.  All applications for support must be made to The Architectural Heritage Fund.

You can find guidelines on grant applications to The Architectural Heritage Fund’s Challenge Fund here.

Further details of the Fund and how to apply are available from the AHF website,, or by contacting Ian Lush, Chief Executive of the AHF, by email:  

Please note that applications for Challenge Fund grants made directly to The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation will not be considered.  

  • The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation was founded by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1992. Click on the link below to visit Andrews official website