Updates on the Lottery Bid, 4th April 2014

At the GP Joint Advisory Panel on Friday evening, members of the Project Team made a number of presentations which updated Councillors on the latest progress of the two funding applications, including the applications for planning permission and listed building consent.

You can open the whole file of presentation images, text and diagrams here. It is a large PDF file.

Some of the topics covered were in response to questions which Councillors had raised at previous meeting of the GPJAP. All meetings of this committee, the agenda and papers, are published on the LB Hounslow web-site under “Council and Democracy” then “Meetings”. This shortcut will take you to the reports of the January 2014 meeting – http://tinyurl.com/mwcwfdu

The presentation includes material on:

  • the extent of public consultation behind the proposals,
  • the hoped-for visitor numbers once the projects have finished (Park visits up to 1m each year, Museum up to 50,000, for example) and the engagement of new “audiences” (types of visitor)
  • the restoration plans for the Park (for example, re-introducing boats on the Round Pond, re-creating views, digging a new pond on the site of the west horseshoe pond, installing nature trails),
  • repair of The Orangery (but not adding toilets and food preparation spaces at the rear as originally proposed – too expensive),
  • developing a Community Garden
  • the plans for the museum (architects’ drawings, detailed, using colour to signify uses), showing future public rooms on the ground floor (Library, Skylight corridor, Billiard Room (currently temporary exhibition space), the grand rooms, and the  Kitchen Wing; on the first floor in the rooms either side of the Skylight Gallery and the (current) volunteers’ room (on the half landing); on the mezzanine floor using the current museum offices, along with new museum offices, teaching rooms, volunteers’ rooms and accessible stores
  • three flats have been allocated above the Kitchen Wing for a future caretaker and other Museum staff. We were told that the previous objections to flats above a Museum (dangers from fire and flood, to security from unsupervised access etc, from which the Councillors have struggled to relocate the tenants for over 15 years) can be overcome in the rebuilding work and the new management structure.
  • first draft drawings of the proposed new Cafe and Carriage Display – rebuilt on footprint of existing cafe, with adjacent room for display of Rothschild carriages and other transport. With the proposed internal toilets and bin store and ramped access to the carriage display this new cafe’s kitchen would be too small to prepare food for functions in the Orangery, grand Museum rooms or Temple, and possibly too small for the increased number of visitors. (The meeting was advised that further work is being  done to review this)
  • A second consultant’s report has been prepared on Park catering.
  • notes on the Business Plan, which is being further reviewed. It predicts the need to spend an extra £1m each year (on the existing £800,000) to sustain the changes. The meeting was told that HLF has appointed Prof Peter Latchford  to act as independent reviewer of the business plan,
  • notes on forming a “Joint Venture” company (owned by both boroughs) to hold and manage the whole estate and a development trust to raise funds, and
  • update on restoring the Stables from which significant features are being put into safe storage, and the information that the Project Board are planning another market testing exercise for the Stables and the Small Mansion.
  • Ealing Council have allocated £250,000 for the project team to work up a Sports Feasibility Study which would be the basis of bids to sport funding agencies.