Elizabeth Gaskell’s House wins National Lottery support to help attract more weddings and local businesses.

13th February 2019
in Gaskell House Blogs, news

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Manchester is proud to announce it has been successful in securing a grant of £78,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. This resilience led heritage project will provide training for staff and volunteers, budget for advertising, and create two new roles within the staff team.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project aims to help this historic house and visitor attraction achieve long-term sustainability, so that it can continue to remain open and accessible to the people of Manchester and beyond.

Situated on Plymouth Grove, in the Ardwick area of Manchester, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House opened in 2014 following extensive restorations and now employs over 50 volunteers who help to open the house to the public three days a week and to run private tours, room hire, school visits and weddings on the other days. The Grade II* listed House current attracts over 7000 visitors a year and is consistently given top feedback from visitors. Now that Manchester holds the UNESCO City of Literature marque, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, has an even greater value in the city, promoting the life and works of one of the cities greatest authors, alongside literature courses and creative writing workshops.

The main focus of the project will be to encourage a greater number of business to use this unique and accessible venue for meetings and events in the city, and to inspire more couples to choose the House as a venue for their wedding day. The House can host weddings groups from 4 to 35 and has so far hosted seven weddings in its beautiful period rooms with more booked for 2019. Three well-equipped and fully accessible seminar rooms are available to businesses to hire, each fitted with large screens and hearing loops. Unusually those attending meetings can also book a private tour for delegates or take time out of their meetings to look around the historic building independently.

Frank Galvin, Chair of Manchester Historic Buildings Trust who run the House;

“With this National Lottery Heritage funding we will be able to face future challenges positively and become more sustainable, whilst maintaining the special inclusive atmosphere of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. We are thrilled by the news and can’t wait to get started.”

Volunteers, staff and trustees will also benefit from access to new training and a under 25’s volunteer group will also be established to help younger volunteers influence the direction of the House.

One of the house’s youngest volunteers Rana Rofifah;

“I’ve been volunteering at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House since I was 16 and I love the opportunity it provides to meet so many different visitors and volunteers. The new under 25’s volunteer forum will give volunteers like me practical experience of working strategically in heritage and cultural organisations and will give us a voice on the board, which is an amazing opportunity.”

Nathan Lee, Head of Region North West for the National Lottery Heritage Fund said “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this project will help strengthen the Trust that runs Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, ensuring it is in a better position to manage, protect and share the rich heritage in its care.”

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is open to the public every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 11am-4.30pm. A well-loved second-hand book sale is held every second Sunday of the month, alongside regular book groups, creative writing workshops and talks. Room hire and wedding at the House are available seven days a week. See the website for details.


Notes to editors

About Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, at 84 Plymouth Grove is a Grade II* listed property, was built around 1835-1841 and is a rare surviving example of a suburban villa. The Manchester author lived in the House with her family from 1850 until her death in 1865. Her two daughters lived at the house until 1913.The Manchester Historic Buildings Trust was established in 1998 with the primary aim of saving Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. The House opened to the public in October 2014 with support and funding from The Bowland Charitable Trust, Cross Street Chapel, English Heritage, The Foyle Foundation, The Gaskell Society, J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, Manchester City Council, Oglesby Charitable Trust, The Pilgrim Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, and The Wolfson Foundation.

The House is open to the public every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 11am-4.30pm and for private tours, room hire, events and weddings on all days.

Opening times: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 11.00am-4.30pm (last admission 4pm) Ticket prices: £5 Concessions £4 Tickets valid for re-entry for 12 months

84 Plymouth grove, Manchester, M13 9LW
Twitter: @GaskellsHouse
Facebook: Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Private Tours by special arrangement – £12 per person (includes tour, tea/coffee and cake)

The House is available for weddings and room hire on all days.

Second-hand book sale held every second Sunday. Included in admission.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest 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. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

Further Information

For further press enquires, images and interviews, please contact Sally Jastrzebski-Lloyd on 0161 273 2215

Plans are like a card-house-if one gives way, all the others come rattling about your head

Elizabeth Gaskell, 1864