The roof of Jane Austen’s former home is expected to be restored after a successful fundraising appeal and support from a government grant.
The house received £ 85,600 from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, a £ 1.57 billion pot that supports cultural organizations affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of February 2021, the total cost of repairing the property in Chawton was estimated to be £ 170,000.
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At the time, Hampshire County Council awarded a grant of £ 85,000 to help fund emergency repairs such as replacing leaky windows and stabilizing the structures of heritage buildings on the site.
An online public appeal gave Jane Austen fans the opportunity to sponsor tiles to raise funds for the museum. So far this has raised over £ 64,000.
But restoring the roof requires specialist work, with more than 300,000 salvaged and handmade terracotta tiles to be installed.
This is what the additional £ 85,600 from the Culture Recovery Fund will be used for. Investigations have shown that if the roof is not repaired, the items kept in the museum can be affected by humidity.
Jane Austen House Museum Director Lizzie Dunford said: ‘We can now restore the roof that housed Austen as she created some of the greatest masterpieces in English literature and protect her prized possessions and her home. inspiring for future generations. “
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The museum normally depends entirely on the income generated by visitors.
During the work on the roof, the house will be closed to visitors during the week.
However, it will remain open on weekends and at Christmas, with many festive events planned.
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