Major funding award for pioneering project

Barts Heritage has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund development grant to progress plans for its £9.1m Sharing Historic Barts scheme.

Press release

Barts Heritage receives a National Lottery Heritage Fund development grant to progress plans for a £4.7m bid to implement a pioneering project at Britain’s oldest hospital.

Barts Heritage, the charity set up to care for the Grade I-listed buildings at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London, has achieved a major funding breakthrough with a development award of over £445k from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, part of a £4.7m grant which will be awarded at the end of a successful development phase.

The grant will provide the core funding for Sharing Historic Barts, a £9.1m scheme that will rejuvenate the historic North Wing and establish a new model of heritage-based support for wellbeing and skills development.

Sharing Historic Barts will transform the use of the historic spaces at the Hospital, conserving remarkable architecture and art collections, and opening up the Grade I-listed North Wing for year-round public use. Connections between heritage and health will form the backbone of the project with an aim to create places of inspiration, reflection and discovery: for patients and their families, for the Hospital’s working communities and those around it, and for the wider public.

Great Hall Open House, September 21 – photo by Matthew Andrews
Sharing thoughts at our Open House in the Great Hall, September 2021 © Matthew Andrews

The National Lottery Heritage Fund development grant will help progress proposals to:

  • create a visible and active heart for heritage activity, drawing audiences from far beyond the Hospital 
  • reach an economically and culturally diverse cross-section of people through targeted and inclusive activities; skills development; and volunteering
  • pioneer a new model for heritage activity for wellbeing through a sustainable programme of interpretation and public engagement
  • safeguard nationally important buildings and collections to enable regular and sustained public use

The project is due to start on site in early 2023, the 900th anniversary of St Bartholomew’s Hospital with a reopening date of early 2025. 


Will Palin, CEO of Barts Heritage said: “We are thrilled to have secured a Round 1 pass from the Heritage Fund for this unique project which combines the much-needed restoration of the one of the most important historic hospital buildings in the UK with a pioneering heritage and health programme. We would like to thank Lottery players for helping to make our vision a reality as we approach the 900th anniversary of St Bartholomew’s Hospital.”

Stuart McLeod, Director London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are delighted to support Barts Heritage and help them to work up their proposals to transform the historic spaces of the North Wing of St Bartholomew’s, the oldest hospital in Britain. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, plans will continue to be developed to engage a wider range of people with this iconic institution, through an ambitious heritage, health and wellbeing project”.


Dr Linda Monckton of Historic England said: “We see Sharing Historic Barts as a pioneering project that will provide unparalleled opportunities to support and improve the wellbeing of individuals and communities. It has huge potential to set out good practice for heritage and wellbeing, demonstrating the power of heritage to enhance wellbeing in multiple and sustained ways.”

The Great Hall, Open House September 21 – Matthew Andrews
Sharing the wonders of the Great Hall at our Open House in September © Matthew Andrews

Notes to editors

Barts Heritage

Barts Heritage is leading the rescue and rejuvenation of the historic buildings of St Bartholomew’s Hospital. These buildings are of national importance and include the Grade I-listed North Wing, with its spectacular Great Hall and staircase decorated by William Hogarth.

The Hospital is the oldest in Britain, having dispensed free healthcare on the same site for nearly 900 years. Its historic buildings, art collection and archives remain at the heart of this busy working hospital.

Sharing Historic Barts will transform the use of the historic spaces at the Hospital, conserving remarkable architecture and art collections and opening up the North Wing for year-round public use. We are pioneering a new model of heritage-based support for wellbeing, in a programme that also includes skills development, and educational and cultural activities.

Working closely with Barts Health NHS Trust and other strategic partners, we have planned a comprehensive restoration programme over several phases which will open up the buildings for a range of uses. Our vision is to create places of inspiration, reflection and discovery: for patients and their families, for the Hospital’s working communities and those around it, and for visitors and local audiences.

Follow @BartsHeritage on Twitter and Instagram and use #bartsheritage

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

National Lottery Heritage Fund grant applications over £250,000 are assessed in two rounds. The ‘Sharing Historic Barts: A New Model for Heritage and Health at St Bartholomew’s Hospital’ project has initially been granted round one development funding of £445,731. by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £4,250,000.Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Will Palin at Barts Heritage on will.palin@bartsheritage.org.uk

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