An update

Detailed design work

As a result of the recent funding awards from the Department of Digital culture Media and Sport, and the Postcode Neighbourhood Trust, we have been able to instruct Purcell Architects to start work on the next stage of the design work for the North-West Tower. If there are no further delays with the funding from the Darent Valley Landscape Partnership then we hope that restoration work will be able to start next Spring.

Sustainability

The architect’s brief includes several measures for sustainability. They are looking at water harvesting and solar panels so that the Palace will be self-supporting. We already use very little paper; wherever possible information is held and sent digitally. And a key message for our visitors is that they should use low-carbon forms of travel to and from Otford. We will continue to monitor and improve our sustainability throughout the project.

Funding

The recent funding awards are specifically for design work and the educational outreach programme. The Trust still has to find core funding for utilities, rates, insurance and on-going maintenance. We are appealing to the local community in Otford, Sevenoaks and the Darent Valley to raise £15,000 emergency funding so that the Trust can continue to operate and prepare for the next phase of the project in which we will start work on the actual restoration of the buildings. The appeal, launched in mid-October has raised just under £1,400 so far: there is some way to go! The risk remains that, without this funding, the Trust will have to be wound up and our plans for this iconic building will be lost, the lease surrendered to SDC and alternative arrangements made for its future – perhaps conversion for holiday homes which was one of their alternatives

We seek your help and invite you to join us in this local legacy project and would be most grateful for any financial contributions. Recognition will be advertised on our website and, as we progress, those that have enabled us to overcome the current difficulty will be recorded as certified founder sponsors. If you have already made a donation then thank you very much. If not, then please consider doing so.

You can donate through Virgin MoneyGiving by going to: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/otfordpalace
If you would prefer to donate directly through a bank transfer, please contact Nick Rushby (secretary@otfordpalace.org) for the bank details.

We need your help and would be most grateful for any and all contributions. Thank you.