Villa is going to be beautiful once more; Restoration thanks to Lottery cash.
Bensham Grove in Gateshead was the home of Robert Spence-Watson - lawyer, politician, educator, social reformer and writer.
Robert lived at Bensham Grove with his wife Elizabeth and their six children. She was a pioneer for votes for women in the North East. National figures, including prime ministers, poets, authors, artists and explorers were regular visitors.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has given pounds 289,400 for the restoration project, which will be run by Gateshead Council and Bensham Grove Community Association.
It will restore the early 19th-Century building and its historic features alongside an extensive programme of learning and community activities centred on the history of the house. Shirley Brown Shirley Brown is a soul singer, born January 6, 1947 in West Memphis, Arkansas who is best known for her single "Woman to Woman" which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1975. , chairman of the Bensham Grove management committee, said: "We have a lot of the original features in Bensham Grove, and this grant gives us the chance to make the building beautiful again.
"There have always been inspirational in·spi·ra·tion·al
1. Of or relating to inspiration.
2. Providing or intended to convey inspiration.
3. Resulting from inspiration. people and ideas at Bensham Grove, and this project will enable the whole community to make a contribution to its future."
Ivor Crowther, HLF HLF Heritage Lottery Fund
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HLF Hook Length Formula head in the North East, said: "This grant will rejuvenate re·ju·ve·nate
tr.v. re·ju·ve·nat·ed, re·ju·ve·nat·ing, re·ju·ve·nates
1. To restore to youthful vigor or appearance; make young again.
2. and repair this important building back to its former Victorian splendour and ensure it continues to play a key role in the community, acting as a creative hub."
HISTORY Historian Shirley Brown, left, and manager Chris O'Toole at Bensham Grove Community Centre which will be restored to its former glory