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Over £11m handed out by Heritage Lottery Fund

There’s no such thing as a summer lull at the Heritage Lottery Fund, which lhas awarded just over £11m to three projects, while one of its previously-funded sites opened on 9 August aſter receiving a final £950k. Here’s a round-up of the grants. Walthamstow Reservoirs London

Wetlands project has been awarded £4.4m to open up ten of Walthamstow’s reservoirs, transforming them into urban wetlands. Norton Priory Museum and Gardens,

Cheshire, was also granted £3.7m for its ongoing project, Monastery to Museum. As one of the best excavated monastic sites in Europe, the project aims to preserve the 12th century undercroſt, exhibit the museums’ collections and help tell its 900-year story. Pontefract Castle, Yorkshire, will

receive a confirmed grant of £3m for its ’Keys to the North’ project. Tis funding will allow parts of the castle that haven’t been seen since 1649 to go on display to the public and eventually see it removed from the English Heritage ‘At Risk’ register. And after a £2.6m restoration pro-

gramme, Sewerby Hall, Yorkshire opened on 9 August, with HLF provid- ing £950,000 towards the restoration of the early Georgian country house. Details:

Tate extension project scrutinised

With a budget of £215m, one might expect Tate Modern’s high-profile extension to be carried out to schedule and without incident. But a re-shuf- fle at the upper echelons of the project’s manage- ment, topped off with an admission that the budget will need to be revised, has raised questions from one prominent Labour MP. “There’s £50m of tax-

payers’ money in this project which is late and going off track,” said Helen Goodman, the opposition’s minister for culture. She called on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Tate Modern to explain the situation aſter news of the high-level personnel changes. Construction consultancy Gardiner &

Teobald, which oversaw the first phase of the project, has been removed from its central role and replaced by developers Stanhope, accord- ing to an Architects’ Journal report. Gardiner & Teobald’s new part in the 11-storey Herzog

Tate Modern Project (exterior view from the south)

& de Meuron-designed extension is unclear, though a statement from the London gal- lery said the firm would still be “very much involved” at a senior level. Tate Modern said it was not unusual for responsibilities to change as large-scale development projects progressed. Gardiner & Theobald completed The

Tanks, the first development stage, in 2012. Details:

London Zoo probed over ‘drunken’ guest nights

London Zoo has a party animal problem and it’s not the penguins or tigers, who have reportedly been victims of drunken party goers at the zoo’s late-night events. Te popular aſter-hours parties

Honour Guard attended the opening

Richard III visitor centre opens doors in Leicester

Te £4m Richard III Visitor Centre in

Leicester, built on the site where the remains of the late King were discovered, has now been officially opened to the public. Designed by Maber Architects, a former

school has been transformed into a museum telling the story of the king up until his demise and centuries later, the discovery of his body under an adjacent car park in 2012. Leicester City Council bought the site in

late 2012 and commissioned Maber to cre- ate a centre that is expected to cater for up to 100,000 visitors on an annual basis, gen- erating around £4.5m for the local economy. Details:


at the zoo are being investigated by Westminster Council over claims of guests throwing glasses at animals, pouring beer on tigers and trying to climb into the penguin enclosure, among a string of other offences. More than 64,000 people have

Party goers reportedly attempted to enter the penguin enclosure

signed a petition to stop the popular ‘Zoo Lates’ events, which offers visitors “flam- boyant stilt-walkers, hilarious comedy, fantastic food from around the world, and the chance to see incredible wildlife aſter hours”. Te over 18s event does sell alcohol, which

has seemingly been at the root of the problem, with zookeepers reporting a slew of drunken behaviour including guests crushing butterflies, touching penguins and pouring drinks on peo- ple and animals, notably at the tiger enclosure. London Zoo said the wellbeing of its ani-

mals was always its priority, but has continued to hold the events, citing “additional security”

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as a measure to prevent future incidents. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

(PETA) has spoken out against the event, with PETA spokesperson Ben Williamson telling Leisure Opportunities: “Patrons of what London Zoo actively promotes as “a wild night out” are there to party. Rowdy, drunk humans and captive wild animals make for an even more dangerous combination for all concerned. “It’s bad enough that the London Zoo’s

permanent residents have no way of escaping their day-to-day confinement.” Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2014

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