• ORNC reaches £1m donation target before 30th June deadline
  • The total will now be matched by HLF/DCMS Catalyst: Endowments programme
  • Incredible public support saw swell of donations in the final 48 hours
  • For further information or images please contact TRyley@ornc.org or call +44 (0)208269 4762

The Old Royal Naval College (ORNC), Greenwich is delighted to announce that thanks to overwhelming public support £1m has been raised for its Future Fund endowment - a figure that will now be matched by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The fund helps ensure that the ORNC can continue its vital conservation, community and educational work for years to come.

The campaign was made possible by the Catalyst: Endowments programme set up by the HLF, the DCMS, and Arts Council England, in which every pound raised by the ORNC up to 30 June 2016 will be matched. Through investment of the total sum of £2 million, the Future Fund will provide the ORNC with a stable, long-term financial income.

Mary Ellen Cetra, Development and Communications Director said:

“Everyone at the ORNC has worked tirelessly over the last 4 years and it is wonderful to be able to celebrate our achievement today! We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from everyone from our Board of Trustees to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who were inspired to support us by the sheer beauty, and historical significance of this amazing site. Of course none of this would have happened were it not for the HLF/DCMS Catalyst programme which has not only laid the groundwork for securing the future of the ORNC, but charities throughout the UK”.

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said:

“The Old Royal Naval College is at the heart of historic Maritime Greenwich, and we are delighted that thanks to National Lottery players we are able to support its excellent education, conservation and community work, and to help ensure its future sustainability”.

Fundraising for the Future Fund started back in the summer of 2012, and public support for the campaign has grown increasingly. More than half of the £1m target was donated by visitors on site, with the remainder coming from major individual gifts, corporations, ORNC memberships and the ORNC Chapel Fund.

Supporting the ORNC

In September 2016 the ORNC is due to begin a landmark project that will clean and conserve the remarkable decorative scheme of the Painted Hall, re-presenting this baroque masterpiece in optimum environmental conditions. Over 2 years, a team of conservators will work on 3,400 square meters of painted surface, bringing new life and vibrancy to paintings obscured by decades of deterioration

The ORNC is still seeking £2m to enable it to reach its £8m target and fully fund the project. The public can support their effort by ‘sponsoring a square foot’: LINK HERE

The ORNC is open to visitors Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00 during the summer months (10.00 – 17.00 from 11 September). To learn more about the conservation project visit http://www.ornc.org .

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Notes to editors

For more information or images contact:

Tom Ryley mailto:TRyley@ornc.org

+44 (0)208269 4762

About the Old Royal Naval College:

The Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) in Greenwich was established as the Royal Hospital for Seamen by King William III and Queen Mary II in 1694.

Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, it is one of the most important ensembles in European baroque architecture. From 1705, the Royal Hospital provided modest, wood-lined cabins as accommodation for retired sailors, housing as many as 2,700 residents at its peak in 1814. The last naval pensioners left in 1869, when the site became home to the Royal Naval College, an officers’ training academy, until 1997. When the Navy left, an independent charity was established to conserve the site for present and future generations, and create enjoyment, learning and unique cultural experiences for everyone.

Today this historic landmark is open to the public and is the home of three unique and free to visit attractions; the Painted Hall, the Chapel, and the Discover Greenwich visitor centre.

The Painted Hall is the greatest piece of decorative painting in England and has been described as ‘the Sistine Chapel of the UK’. The walls and ceilings were painted by Sir James Thornhill between 1708 and 1727.

The Chapel of St Peter and St Paul is a neo-classical masterpiece by James ‘Athenian’ Stuart and William Newton. Featuring a Samuel Green organ and an altarpiece painted by Benjamin West, it is one of the finest eighteenth century interiors in existence.

The ORNC is free to all visitors and is open daily from 10.00-17.00.


About the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) :

Thanks to National Lottery players, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.

www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery @HLFLondon