Palace House to benefit from £250,000 Heritage Lottery Funding

3rd July 2018

The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art at Palace House is delighted at the announcement by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) that it has been awarded a £250,000 National Lottery grant from HLF’s Resilient Heritage programme.

Designed to strengthen organisations and build the capacity of staff and volunteers to better manage heritage in the long-term, the funding which has been awarded to a joint project with Discover Newmarket will be split over a two-year period.

Chris Garibaldi, Director for the National Heritage Centre at Palace House commented: “We are absolutely thrilled to have received the maximum award from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Resilient Heritage programme which will be used to increase our commercial and marketing capacity to build income through visitor admissions and reach new audiences.

Over 30,000 people came through the doors last year which was triple the visitor base of the old museum, but we want to keep growing this. We know we have the right product but want to increase our market share and this funding will give us capacity to ensure Palace House, Newmarket and Suffolk are on the map as major tourist destinations.”

Rachel Hood, Chair of Trustees and Mayor of Newmarket said: “We are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for this vote of confidence in the long-term future of the National Heritage Centre and indeed for their recognition that Newmarket has so much to offer. As the historic home of horseracing and the centre of a global industry we look forward to welcoming increasing numbers of visitors from around the world – this grant is such a positive development and will enable us to continue to protect and enhance what makes the town so very special.”

Noel Byrne, Chief Executive of the Bedford Lodge and Rutland Arms hotels and Chairman of Discover Newmarket said: “We couldn’t be more pleased and are delighted for the National Heritage Centre, for Discover Newmarket and for the town. We have such a rich cultural history and the potential market share for both in-bound and domestic tourism is enormous. This is one of the reasons that lay behind our commercial decision recently to acquire the Rutland Arms Hotel – a clear demonstration of the power of cultural heritage to drive regeneration. This grant will give Palace House and Discover Newmarket the capacity to maximise the opportunities for the benefit of the whole of the town.”

The National Heritage Centre, which was a finalist in the 2017 Art Fund Museum of the Year, further bolstered its credentials earlier this year having become a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) with the Arts Council. In its inaugural year the site welcomed international visitors from over 28 countries as well as 2,684 individual educational visits.

The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art was formally opened by its Patron, Her Majesty the Queen on 3rd November 2016. Its creation was made possible by a £4.99m National Lottery grant from HLF and further support from the Racing Industry as well as many private trusts, foundations and individuals from the world of horseracing and beyond. Forest Heath District Council and Suffolk County Council also invested in the project, designed to celebrate Newmarket’s unique Royal and racing history with a visitor attraction that would boost High Street spending.

Cllr Andy Drummond, Forest Heath’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture said: “We are delighted that this champion attraction, the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art is going from strength to strength. Hot on the heels of achieving National Portfolio Organisation status, it has gained this backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund. That in turn will enable it to do even more to welcome not just local residents and schools but visitors from far and wide to come along, enjoy this brilliant visitor experience and discover how much Newmarket has to offer.”

Palace House is becoming a major visitor attraction in the East of England providing a significant boost to the local and regional economy in terms of additional tourist income, employment and the economic impact of procurement of goods and services. Using the Association of Independent Museums Economic Impact Toolkit it is estimated that in 2017 the site represented a total annual economic impact of over £2 million to the local economy.

As well as showcasing the largest collection of historic memorabilia the sport has to offer in the UK, the National Heritage Centre in Newmarket has also hosted a number of special art and photographic exhibitions including ‘Selling Champions: Tattersalls at 250’; ‘Gods of Sport: 50 Years of Sporting Photography by Chris Smith’; ‘Boxiana: Heroes of the Ring’; ‘Painting Winners: Sir Alfred Munnings’.

Its current exhibition which runs until the end of October 2018 celebrates works by James Ward: Animal Painter.

Daily opening times: 10am – 5pm

Adults: £12

Children (5-16): £7 Children Under 5: Free

Family: £35 (2 Adults and up to 4 children)

Annual Pass (Adults): £20

Annual Pass (Family): £45