£500,000 boost for Abbeys hidden art gems

Torbay Weekly

Torre Abbey has been successful in securing almost £500,000 from the Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND).

The fund from the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) delivered by Arts Council England, in partnership with Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will be used to conserve, repair, and make safe the Abbey’s 14th century Gatehouse and Georgian façade.

Upon completion of the works, visitors to Torre Abbey will once again get full access to regionally important art collections which date back more than 800 years.

The MEND grant will be matched by Council investment totalling £471,715 and funding of £23,450 from the Friends of Torre Abbey. The joint investment means almost £1million is being used to protect Torbay’s most historic building.

The Torbay Heritage Strategy sets out the vision to help people to better engage and access local heritage sites. Other recent funding successes are now enabling the council to work more closely with community partners to support heritage learning opportunities, skills development and community engagement.

Cllr Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing for Torbay Council, said; “This latest funding award is fantastic news not only for Torre Abbey, but for Torbay’s heritage sector as a whole.

“Torbay has a fascinating and significant heritage. It can not only improve the quality of life for people in the Bay through learning, but through offering new experiences and diverse employment opportunities as the sector continue to grow and thrive, particularly as it supports our visitor economy.”

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member of Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said; “There is enormous interest in local heritage among Torbay residents. Heritage is not only about looking to the past, preserving, and conserving, it’s about the people and the places today.

“Torre Abbey is layered in local history yet offers a vibrant mix of ancient and modern through its exhibitions, events, learning and gardens. I’d like to thank the Friends of Torre Abbey for their generous donation and their ongoing support in ensuring Torre Abbey continues to thrive long into the future.”

Works are expected to start this year and be completed by February 2024.