HLF Project

A Roof with a View

OHOS was absolutely delighted to achieve a first round pass in June 2017 towards a Heritage Grant for the project "A Roof with a View" for Brock Keep.  We are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a Development Grant, and to Reading Borough Council for continued support in developing this project towards submitting a second round bid in 2018, and also to our many volunteers who have given their time and skills to help make this happen. 

The aim is to repair and conserve Brock Keep's turrets and parapets, so the scaffolding that was put up for safety reasons in 2010 can be removed, and public access will become possible to the roof, a small rooftop cafe called The Magazine, and a Crow's Nest lookout point.  The view is great: looking North, South, East and West, taking in Reading and the Thames Valley.  For the first few years it will be necessary to climb stairs to reach the roof, but it is intended in future to raise funds for a lift.

Second round success would also restore the ground floor verandah, thereby improving the ground floor where there will be a three year programme of heritage learning activities with full disabled access.  It would also secure the Keep as a publicly accessible Arts and Heritage Centre for West Reading for at least the next 35 years.

The Development Project has helped OHOS through a process of self-examination, review and change where needed: vital to prepare for important future challenges such as delivering "A Roof with a View" and sustaining the arts and heritage programme over the long term.  We have upgraded governance, management and financial processes, prepared architectural drawings, obtained new surveys, carried out a public consultation, gained Listed Building Consent and Planning Permission, organised lease documents, planned heritage activities and interpretation, made a new business plan, cleared out the roof store, and nearly buried ourselves in paperwork! A big thank you to National Lottery Players for making it all possible.