Conservation funds bid for Temple Newsam in Leeds could be worth more than £2m

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Council bosses in Leeds are preparing a big-money funding bid that they hope will pay for conservation and restoration work at the city’s Temple Newsam estate.

Leeds City Council’s executive board has approved the submission of the application for a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant that could be worth more than £2m.

According to a council report compiled for the executive board, key elements of the proposed project would include:

* Restoration of the estate’s Sphinx Gates and Avenue Bridge, both of which date back to the 18th century;

* Creation of a path that would reinstate a route from the end of the East Avenue to the south eastern corner of Temple Newsam House;

* Improvements to the estate’s Grade II-listed Little Temple building, including the fixing of its roof and repairs to its stonework.

The report says the bid has the backing of the Friends of Temple Newsam group and describes it as “an opportunity to implement a restoration plan to improve the condition of heritage features and engage the community to deliver a sustainable future for the park”.

It also warns, however, that the relevant deadline for grant applications is August this year and so the bid team will be “working to a tight timescale”.

The executive board approved a potential £100,000 in match funding from the council which would support any successful bid.

Restoration projects at Roundhay Park and Kirkstall Abbey have previously received HLF grants worth nearly £10m.

Once known as the Hampton Court of the North, the story of the Temple Newsam estate can be traced all the way back to the 12th century.

Temple Newsam House itself is a Tudor-Jacobean country mansion built in the early part of the 16th century.

Its gardens, meanwhile, were designed in the 18th century by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

Ian Marwood of Sentio Partners  Picture: Giles Rocholl

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