Partners in Torbay will be looking into new funding opportunities to revive Oldway Mansion after a £9.85m National Lottery Heritage Fund bid was unsuccessful.

The Oldway Trust, Torbay Council and Oldway Working Party had put the bid in for the first round of Heritage Horizons grant bids, but was among 146 organisations nationally doing the same, and was not put through to the next round.

But with more than 100 volunteers recently coming forward to spruce up Oldway’s gardens, and a charitable Trust being set up, there is a wealth of support in the local community to breathe new life into the historic site, and partners are determined to explore other funding routes.

Councillor Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council and Chair of Oldway Working Party, said: “Whilst the news is disappointing, there were more than 140 organisations in an over-subscribed process, so there was a lot of competition. It’s also important to note that this would only have been the first round of the bid which would have taken several months.

“The Council will continue to work with the new Oldway Trust and other groups through the Oldway Working Party to identify other funding opportunities.

“We know there is overwhelming support locally for breathing new life into Oldway Mansion, the charitable trust is being developed, and we already have an army of volunteers, so we need to build on that momentum – we also know there is a lot of interest and support for Oldway nationally so I am confident we will be able to pursue other opportunities.”

The Oldway Trust is founded by trustees Paul Hawthorne (Chair), Darren Cowell, Anna Tolchard and Chris Robson.

Paul Hawthorne, Chair of the Oldway Trust, said: “It was always a dream to get funding at the first attempt, so this is naturally a disappointment.  We have however achieved a tremendous amount in 2019 - many of us would not have believed we would have a fully-fledged project to restore Oldway with 100% Council support and an established charitable Trust to deliver it all in place before the year end.  So we should celebrate how far we have come this year, and look to the next funding option to access in the New Year.  We all have great ambitions to have Oldway open again to the public in some way in 2020, which all parties are committed to.”

Volunteering opportunities

The Oldway Gardens Volunteers Group has already been busy working in the gardens, undertaking clearance work, weeding, repairs and will also be opening a tea hut. You can find out more about how to become a volunteer on the Oldway Gardens Volunteers Group Facebook page

The Oldway Trust

You can also follow the Oldway Trust on their Facebook page as well as donating to support the work to improve Oldway.

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