Coast to Capital has awarded £400,000 through the Local Growth Fund for The Charleston Trust Centenary Project to preserve Charleston's heritage, enhance the Trust's economic and cultural role and expand the site to achieve a sustainable financial future.

Charleston in Firle near Lewes is acknowledged to be of international cultural significance and a nationally important heritage site. Substantial numbers of sightseers from across the UK and overseas visit each year and the Trust’s portfolio of literary festivals attracts many thousands of people.

Funding will go towards the completion of Charleston’s Centenary Project to restore historic barns to provide an auditorium for talks, workshops, festivals and events. A new café/restaurant will serve visitors to Charleston and the South Downs National Park. In addition the Centenary Project will include a suite of five new galleries and a new retail space which will bring many more visitors to the area and greatly enhance the visitor experience. From autumn 2018 Charleston will be open all year, attracting larger and more diverse audiences to the site for exhibitions and a growing public programme of events and learning.

Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital said:
“Our region boasts outstanding natural beauty and preserving delicate sites of cultural heritage is of great importance to us. We are thrilled to be contributing towards a project that will greatly benefit visitors to the region and we look forward to seeing future developments.”

Nathaniel Hepburn, Director and Chief Executive of The Charleston Trust said:
“As well as being an outstandingly beautiful site of great artistic value and literary significance, Charleston is also a critical element of the region’s cultural infrastructure. We are delighted that Coast to Capital have recognised the importance of culture in making the region a vibrant place to live, work and visit."

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