Overwhelming public support has seen the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich reach its landmark £1million fundraising target.

The money has taken four years to raise, with more than half coming from visitors donations, and will now be matched by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and put towards its Future Fund endowment. This will give the charity a stable, long-term income so it can continue its vital conservation, community and educational work for years to come.

The remainder of the money came from major individual gifts, corporations, memberships and the Chapel Fund.

Development and communications director Mary Ellen Cetra said: “Everyone at the ORNC has worked tirelessly over the last four years and it is wonderful to be able to celebrate our achievement today. We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from everyone from our Board of Trustees to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who were inspired to support us by the sheer beauty, and historical significance of this amazing site.”

The former college, previously Greenwich Palace the Royal Naval Hospital of Seamen, is the centrepiece of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. Its buildings are considered amongst the finest in Europe, featuring the neo-classical Chapel and the sumptuous Painted Hall, which is due to undergo a two-year restoration project from September.

The Painted Hall is due to undergo a two year conservation project from September

Head of HLF London Stuart Hobley said: “We are delighted that thanks to National Lottery players we are able to support ORNC’s excellent education, conservation and community work, and to help ensure its future sustainability”.

The ORNC still needs to raise £2m towards the £8m Painted Hall restoration project which will see a team of conservators repair deterioration on 3,400 square meters of painted surface.

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