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Easton Walled Gardens and Skillington Workshop in Grantham receive boost from the Culture Recovery Fund

Two organisations in the area have received a welcome boost to help them through the pandemic from the government's Culture Recovery Fund.

Skillington Workshop Ltd and Easton Walled Gardens are among 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost.

The award of £17,200 allows Skillington Workshop Ltd to manage the specialist heritage conservation work it undertakes nationally in new ways that mitigate risks of spreading or Covid-19.

Grantham MP Gareth davies with Ursula Cholmeley at Easton Walled Gardens. (42636657)
Grantham MP Gareth davies with Ursula Cholmeley at Easton Walled Gardens. (42636657)

Easton Walled Gardens has been awarded a sum of £77,800, a sum that will help keep the team there employed over the winter and help with new initiatives to ensure the gardens can open next spring.

Ursula Cholmeley, owner of Easton Walled Gardens said: “In 2001, we started a 20-year restoration project to bring the ruins of a once great landscape back to life. Inspired by the natural world and 450 years of history, the 12-acre gardens are now well known for their snowdrops, sweet peas, borders and flower filled meadows.

"The Coronavirus pandemic has threatened all that work. It's been a very challenging year and we are thankful to our visitors for their continued support. This grant is vital to the gardens and our community, not only to preserve the work we have already done but also for future conservation so many more generations can enjoy this glorious space.

"Easton is a place where we have worked with the land to create a beautiful natural, very English garden filled with colour and movement. A visit to Easton Walled Gardens gives a sense of freedom, of getting away from it all, in a place close to the hearts of all those who have lived, worked and visited here over the years."

The gardens are closed for the 2020 season and will reopen for Snowdrops on February 21, 2021. The newly extended Courtyard Shop will open from 14th October 14 to December 20, five days a week from 10am to 4pm for Christmas shopping and gardening gifts. More details are available at

Dr David Carrington, MD of Skillington Workshop Ltd, welcomed the recovery grant. He said: "The heritage sector, like so many others, has taken a real hit as a result of the pandemic and Skillington Workshop Ltd, an independent specialist conservation contractor, has been at the sharp end of this. It has taken decades to build our skilled team, and this essential lifeline helps us to refine our working practices and to consolidate the business such that we can keep our team together and move forward, playing our part in the recovery of the heritage industry.

“I set up Skillington Workshop in 1997, moving the firm’s base from Skillington to Grantham in 2000 when we took over the old Baxter Brothers yard on Stuart Street, before moving to larger units off Harlaxton Road.

"The fabric of the company is the core of highly skilled conservation professionals whose expertise has taken years to build, working on sculpture, plasterwork and other decorative architectural features. We pretty well shut down during the lockdown and since bringing our staff back off furlough have found the logistics of operating in the age of Covid incredibly onerous, let alone dealing with the rescheduling and reformatting of complex projects all over the UK.

"The much appreciated CRF award is vital support to allow us to move forward.”

Commenting on the news Grantham MP Gareth Davies said: "The Government have consistently said they will support our historic monuments, buildings and green spaces. The £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund will help to protect them through coronavirus and long into the future. I am delighted that we have received local funding for two fantastic organisations.”

The funding comes from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund - both funded by government and administered at arms length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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