Charleston Trust

THEME: Regeneration

AREA: Lewes

Enhancing the tourism offer through high quality flexible space

Delivery Body: Charleston Trust

Theme: Regeneration

Coast to Capital LGF Allocation: £650k

Match Funding Contribution: £3.2m

Project Status: Complete


Summary of Project

The Charleston Trust is a charity organisation that manages the Charleston, a 17th century farmhouse located around 7 miles from Lewes. The Charleston opened its doors to the public as a small museum in the 1980's. It now hosts a collection of artwork and artefacts of unique cultural and historical significance as well as Small Wonder, a short story festival. Visitor capacity was severely restricted due to facility limitations, and for this reason Coast to Capital invested Local Growth Funding to help expand the site and to refurbish existing buildings to allow for an increased visitor capacity.


Funding has contributed toward the creation of international exhibition gallery and event space at the Charleston Trust's historic facility at Firle, along with a new cafe/events space in the restored barns. These new facilities will significantly enhance tourism to the area with the ability to offer internationally significant art exhibitions, together with revenue generating conference and events opportunities, to complement the existing historic house offer. The facilities will generate additional income for the Trust to continue to ensure that the historic house and gardens are maintained and preserved as a lasting celebration of the Bloomsbury set and the significant contribution that they made to art history. The facilities opened in October 2018, with the new gallery space already seeing several international art exhibitions.


Key Outputs

  • 11 jobs
  • 1,580sqm of commercial floor space
  • 135sqm of training / learning floor space


View the minutes of the meeting where the desicion to approve this project was taken here.


To watch our Charleston Trust case study, please click here

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