Northampton Borough Council has been given the green light by the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop plans to restore and conserve Delapre Abbey.
This includes £250,600 of development funding which will be used alongside funding from Northampton Borough Council and the Friends of Delapre Abbey (FODA) to produce detailed plans for the work needed to restore and secure the Abbey.
The council now has 18 months to develop these plans, which will go forward as a bid for around £3.5 million in the second stage of the Heritage Lottery Fund application process.
During the next stage, Northampton Borough Council, working with principal partners the Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust and other key organisations, will develop more comprehensive plans for the Abbey.
They will be expected to show that there are clear plans for the restoration work that will be needed, along with detailed costs and formal planning/listed building consent.
The plans will focus on bringing parts of the south and east wings of Delapre Abbey back into use and turning the 19th century stable yard into small units for creative businesses.
Emma Sayer, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said: “We at the Heritage Lottery Fund are pleased to support Northampton Borough Council and bring their vision a step-closer to reality. Delapre Abbey is a local heritage treasure and much loved by the local community. with our support this proposal can be further developed to ensure that it is preserved for future generations to explore and enjoy. There is still work to be done in developing the project but HLF will be offering their full support in taking their application further.”
Councillor Tim Hadland, Northampton Borough Council cabinet member with responsibility for Regeneration said: “This is a great boost for Delapre that will help us kick start its long awaited restoration and make it the kind of national landmark that it deserves to be.
“We beat off some strong competition to win this funding and we now have a great deal of work to do in pulling the plans together. We will be working closely with local groups and businesses as we plan how the Abbey can be used in the future.”
Anyone interested in the work of The Friends of Delapre Abbey can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org