Bristol’s Arnos Vale has raised almost £600,000 to help secure its long term future as a pioneering cemetery, Victorian heritage site and much loved community space. Arnos Vale raised £297,205, an amount matched by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to create a final figure of £594,410 which will be secured in a fund to provide a sustainable long term revenue source for the charity.
The 4 year campaign which ended in July has been the catalyst for the transformation of Arnos Vale Cemetery into a leading events and community space, along the way receiving accolades and awards including the Social Enterprise Mark, Museums at Night winner and Bristol Business Award. During the campaign there was also royal recognition from the Duke of Gloucester as he presented the Queens Award for Voluntary Service to the Friends of Arnos Vale Cemetery.
Amongst the many donations were sizable gifts from foundations including the John James Trust, and Merchant Venturers, alongside money raised by The Friends of Arnos Vale Cemetery whose fundraising activity alone raised over £40K. There were also numerous personal donations from the Bristol community and well-wishers further afield, many of whom had worked tirelessly to save Arnos Vale when it lay in a state of disrepair in the decades preceding the restoration campaign.
Chief Executive, Mike Coe said “We are indebted to the Heritage Lottery Fund for giving us this opportunity and acting as a catalyst for the development of Arnos Vale Cemetery as a much loved community space. Four years ago we could never have dreamed of the support we would get and the thousands of donations received from people in Bristol and all over the world who have supported the work we do here”
Chair of Trustees, Malachy McReynolds added “The Trust is delighted to have been able to add this sum to its original endowment from Bristol City Council, giving us a total fund of £1.5 million. This provides us with the security and confidence to plan for a vibrant future for the cemetery.”
With that future looking more secure, the Trustees are now looking at the next 3 year period to Identify future projects to enhance the landscape, improve the visitor experience, and deliver long term financial sustainability to the cemetery.