£80,000 sought for 'outdoor living room' next to Octavia Hill's birthplace
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government
£80,000 sought for centenary garden next to Octavia Hill's birthplace
Some £80,000 is being sought to transform a derelict site into a garden commemorating the centenary of the death of affordable housing pioneer Octavia Hill.
Hoardings currently surround the plot in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire next to Octavia Hill's Birthplace house, blemishing a key entrance to the town.
Next month marks the centenary of Hill's death.
The new space will be called Centenary Green and will pay homage to her role as a champion of outdoor spaces for communities which she called 'outdoor living rooms'.
Her achievements as an environmental campaigner led to her co-founding the National Trust, which today protects more than 300 historic properties and keeps 250,000 hectares of land open to all.
The Centenary Green project is being run by the Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum Trust, with the backing of the National Trust and Fenland District Council.
Peter Clayton, Chairman of the Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum Trust, said: "Octavia Hill is one of Britain's great environmental and social reformers. So it is fitting that, to commemorate the centenary of her death, a beautiful new open space should be created, next to the house in which she was born."
The land has been purchased by the National Trust, with a contributory grant of £55,000 from Fenland District Council. It is leased to the Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum Trust for 99 years.
The Trust now needs support from funding organisations, local businesses and individuals, to transform the wasteland into Centenary Green, a landscaped public garden of lawns, a paved terrace, planting and seating, protected by steel railings.
Receipts and pledges have brought in almost £20,000, but there is still a further £80,000 to be raised by donations, grants or work in kind.
Councillor Alan Melton, leader of Fenland District Council, said: "We're delighted to be supporting Centenary Green. It will be of great benefit both to local people and visitors and it fits in perfectly with our wider vision to regenerate the town. It needs and deserves the widest possible support."
Richard Powell, regional director for the National Trust in the East of England, said: "Octavia Hill still remains one of the most influential figures in social reform and the creation of public spaces for communities. She referred to these spaces as 'outdoor living rooms' and we are thrilled to be able to support the Birthplace Museum Trust in creating another outdoor living room for the benefit of the people of Wisbech."