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The John Clare Trust has been awarded a £500,000 endowment grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Catalyst programme.

HLF has announced John Clare Trust in the latest round of heritage organisations to receive a grant designed to help bring new money into the cultural sector.

John Clare Trust will receive £500,000 which it will now use to attract money from private sources.

The Catalyst programme is designed to offer match-funding to help heritage organisations secure financial stability by building a new endowment fund or developing an existing one.

The Trust maintains the historic Clare Cottage centre in the village of Helpston, near Peterborough, allowing visitors to experience how John Clare lived and see some of the great peasant poet’s most treasured works first hand.


Sara Blair-Manning, the Trust’s Chief Executive, said: “All the staff and volunteers at John Clare are absolutely thrilled to receive support from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help preserve the Cottage for future generations to discover and enjoy.

“The Catalyst award will enable John Clare Trust to build long term security for the Cottage. HLF will match every £1 raised from private sources by the Trust for its endowment fund. The Trust’s target is to raise £500,000 of endowment funds, increasing the total to £1 million.”

The Catalyst Endowment award programme is a joint initiative between the Departure for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England (ACE) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of Heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn more from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, HLF invests in every part of the UK’s diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 30,000 allocating £4.7 billion across the UK.

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “Building financial resilience is vital to ensure the future of our precious buildings, landscapes and collections. With Catalyst, the Heritage Lottery Fund is offering heritage organisations the tools to develop longer-term financial independence and enabling the custodians of our heritage to get fit for the future.”

It’s already proving to be an exciting 2013 for John Clare Cottage. The 2012 gold-medal winning RHS Chelsea garden, designed by Adam Frost, has been recreated in the Cottage grounds, and will be officially opened to the public on John Clare’s birthday – July 13.

Then, from September 20 – 28, it’s the We Love Words Peterborough Festival of Literature and Poetry which offers a diverse range of speakers and events including talks from Michael Portillo and Germaine Greer.

For more information about the Catalyst award programme please visit

To find out more about what’s on at John Clare Cottage visit or follow us on Twitter @JClareCottage


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