Funding boost for big project at hall

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded �3.7million to conservation charity the National Trust to help it repair and conserve Seaton Delaval Hall. Picture by Jane Coltman.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded �3.7million to conservation charity the National Trust to help it repair and conserve Seaton Delaval Hall. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Seaton Delaval Hall is set to enter a new chapter in its life, thanks to National Lottery players across the UK.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £3.7million to the National Trust to help it repair and conserve the Baroque masterpiece.

Designed by famous architect Sir John Vanbrugh, it was a fitting backdrop to the Delaval family’s extravagant lifestyle.

But over the years, following serious damage from a fire in the 19th century, parts of the hall fell into disrepair.

Since acquiring Seaton Delaval Hall in 2009, the National Trust has carried out critical building repairs to ensure the survival of one of Vanbrugh’s best works.

Yet despite major investment, further urgent work is needed to conserve parts of the building such as the circular staircases, install new visitor facilities and create links with artists and creative practitioners, local communities, students and volunteers to develop new exhibitions, events and experiences.

The trust is putting £3million of its charitable funds towards this ambitious project, which will see the installation of a new basement floor, a new roof for the west wing and new interpretation to help tell the stories of the Delaval family.

Improvements to visitor facilities in the form of a café, toilet facilities and a new woodland play area are also in the pipeline.

Emma Thomas, general manager for the National Trust at Seaton Delaval Hall, said: “The National Trust is extremely grateful to the HLF and National Lottery players.

“This funding will enable our charity to carry out essential repair and conservation work and allow improved access and enjoyment.

“While we’re carrying out this important work, we’ll be looking at how we can bring the drama of the Delaval family alive for every visitor.

“We’ll be working with community groups, artists, students and volunteers to develop an experience befitting this spectacular place.”

Work will start soon, although the trust still needs to raise £724,000 to secure every element of the project.

HLF chief executive Ros Kerslake said the exciting plans, which include highlighting the hall’s reputation for theatrics and parties and involving local students in the restoration, “make it thoroughly deserving of National Lottery support”.

For more details on how you can get involved or make a donation, go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/seatondelavalhall