Plans to give one of the oldest buildings in Sutton a £1m makeover have received a massive boost.
Cheam’s 16th-century Whitehall Museum has been given the green light from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a grant that would see a series major work undertaken.
Development funding of £110,600 has also been awarded to help the London Borough of Sutton Library Service progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date. This process must be completed by June 2015 and will include consultation with local residents and plans for the future of the museum.
If successful the money would allow for the enhancement and conservation of the building’s historic features, new exhibitions to be put on and greater work undertaken with local schools and community groups.
Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee said: “Whitehall is one of the borough’s oldest and most loved sites so I’m delighted that we have made this hugely positive step forward towards securing HLF funding.
“This 500-year-old building is steeped in history and we have a duty to preserve it for future generations. £1m is a substantial investment in our borough’s heritage and shows just how highly thought of Whitehall is.”
Whitehall was built around 1520 during the reign of Henry VIII. Its original use remains a mystery, but it is suspected that it was used as a council house or a meeting house. For most of its history Whitehall was home to the Killick family who lived there from 1742 until their descendants sold the building to Sutton and Cheam Borough Council in 1963. In 1974 a campaign by local people led to Whitehall being opened to the public as a local museum and to the formation of the Friends of Whitehall who continue to help and support the borough in managing the building.
Sue Bowers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for London said: “We’re extremely pleased to give initial support to this project. Grade II* listed Whitehall is an important part of Cheam’s heritage and a well loved local museum. We shall watch the developing plans with interest.”