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Last Updated: Friday, 22 December 2006, 12:21 GMT
Restoration gallery given 4.3m
Watts Gallery
Watts Gallery was built in the Arts and Crafts style
An art gallery in Surrey which was the runner up in BBC Two's Restoration Village show earlier this year has been thrown a 4.3m lifeline.

Watts Gallery, in Compton, said the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was a wonderful Christmas present.

"This is the most significant moment in Watts Gallery's history since the foundation stone was laid in 1903," said curator Mark Bills.

The money will go towards repairing the roof, which currently lets in the rain.

Grade II listed Watts Gallery was built by 19th Century portrait painter George Frederic Watts.

10m appeal

He lived in Compton for 13 years with his wife, Mary, who was linked to the Arts and Crafts movement.

A 10m appeal is under way to save the gallery by restoring the building and conserving its art collection.

It also wants to strengthen its learning programme for local schools, colleges and community groups and become an international centre of Victorian study and research.

"This nationally important building and its internationally significant collection desperately needed to be saved for the country and future generations," said director Perdita Hunt.

The gallery now has to submit detailed plans to the lottery fund.

It hopes to begin restoration work in spring 2008.

The final of Restoration, which was broadcast from the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in Chichester, West Sussex was won by Chedham's Yard blacksmith's workshop near Stratford-on-Avon.




SEE ALSO
Rare forge wins Restoration show
17 Sep 06 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Gallery in final for restoration
17 Sep 06 |  Southern Counties
Gallery competes for restoration
10 Jul 06 |  Southern Counties

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