London

Future of historic glasshouse at Kew secured by grants

  • 28 March 2013
  • From the section London
The Temperate House at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Image caption The Temperate House at Kew was given World Heritage Site status in 2003

The future of the world's largest surviving Victorian glasshouse structure has been secured with the help of millions of pounds worth of grants, donations and state funding.

Kew's historic Temperate House announced it has received £14.7m from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the Grade I building.

A further £10.4m has been given by the government plus £7.7m in donations.

The restoration will be completed by 2018.

Richard Deverell, of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, said: "We are delighted to be given this opportunity to preserve and transform the Temperate House, one of Kew's most important heritage buildings."

Temperate House, which has undergone a number of major refurbishments over the years, is home to some of the world's most useful plants; including a tea bush, a specimen of a quinine tree (historically used for treating malaria), and the South African balloon pea, which is used in a tonic to alleviate symptoms associated with Aids and cancer.

The restoration project will help Kew restructure its plant displays and rejuvenate its existing plant collection.

The adjoining Evolution House will be converted into a centre to educate and enthuse youngsters about plants.

An Historic Glasshouse Apprenticeship Scheme will also train a new generation in heritage restoration and horticulture.

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