FAMOUS Romsey gardens are set to receive a slice of £103 million as part of the Government's cultural recovery fund.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Jermyns Lane, are among 445 organisations to receive a cash boost in the first round of funding from the Government's £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage.

The scheme aims to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.

The Gardens applied for funding of up to £925,000 to help cover the amount that is expected to be lost due to coronavirus.

Leader of Hampshire County Council (HCC), Cllr Keith Mans, said: "Like many other charities and attractions throughout the country, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens has experienced a significant loss of income during the pandemic due to lower than usual visitor numbers throughout the peak spring and summer months.

"This very welcome financial support from Government will help towards the income deficit that would otherwise prevent the Gardens from breaking even for this financial year - thereby helping it to recover from the economic impact of coronavirus and find a firmer footing for the years ahead.

“We have been very pleased to see visitors return to the Gardens since we reopened in June, and we will use what funding we receive to help maintain the various COVID-secure measures currently in place to keep people safe, as well as to implement any additional COVID measures that may be required, in the near future."

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Grants of up to £1 million from the Culture Recovery Fund will deliver a lifeline for the heritage sector in England with further support to follow and larger grants for capital projects awarded through the Heritage Stimulus Fund.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation, it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past.

"This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post-COVID.”

The Gardens were established in 1953 by plantsman Sir Harold Hillier and have been under HCC's sole trusteeship since 1977.

For more information about planning a trip to the Gardens, becoming a Gardens member, or volunteering, visit hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/hilliergardens.