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Heritage: it’s a lottery

In ten years the Heritage Lottery Fund has preserved glories, scuppered the V&A spiral and bowed to social inclusion. What is this "heritage" idea?

By Annabel Freyberg   November 2004

The beautiful and architecturally important building of Christ Church Spitalfields, designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor in the early 18th century, reopened this autumn after major restoration to a fanfare of praise. It had been in a parlous state since the 1950s, and decades of campaigning and fundraising had achieved little more than holding up the roof. It took a £2.4m grant from the still fledgling Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in 1996 before a proper programme of restoration could be embarked upon, and a further award of £3.5m in 2002 to complete the project.

The Christ Church project exemplifies the HLF’s remit:…

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