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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Upgrade for historic estate
The restoration work will also provide facilities for school parties

New life is to be breathed into a historic attraction in Tyneside, following a 1.5m lottery grant.

The cash has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the upkeep of the Gibside attraction at Rowlands Gill, near Gateshead.

The estate is the former home of the Queen Mother's family, the Bowes-Lyons.

The money will be used by the National Trust to purchase and restore the now derelict stables and stabilise the ruined orangery, and both will be opened up public access for the first time.

The restoration work will also provide new facilities to widen the opportunities for life-long learning and school visits and for use by community groups.

Important buildings

Keith Bartlett, Heritage Lottery Fund Manager for the North East, said: "As well as contributing towards the restoration and preservation of Gibside - an estate of huge historic and regional significance - this project will enable more people to appreciate and enjoy it.

"There will also be numerous opportunities to get involved through the educational, volunteering and training opportunities which the Trust has planned.

"Thanks to the restoration and replanting, visitors will be better able to see parts of the estate through the eyes of their 18th and 19th Century predecessors."

Tony Walton, National Trust Property Manager and Project Manager at Gibside, said: "We are delighted that it will enable us to secure the future of these important landscape buildings."

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