Porthmeor studio restoration boosted by £1.5m grant

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Porthmeor studio
Image caption,
Artists have been using the studios since the 1880s

An historic artists' studio and fishermen's building in Cornwall has been awarded £1.5m in grants toward a £4m restoration project.

The new Heritage and European funding means the Grade II*-listed Porthmeor studio complex can be fully renovated.

The timber-framed studios, overlooking Porthmeor beach, near St Ives, have been battered by Atlantic gales and shifting sands for more than 200 years.

The studios are considered to be home to the St Ives school of painting.

Artists involved in the movement included Sir Terry Frost, Peter Blake and Francis Bacon.

They have all worked in the 200-year-old buildings since they began being used as studios in the 1880s.

Twelve fishing boats still work out of Porthmeor, and fishermen still use the building's cellars to repair nets.

Securing the funding would enable the Borlase Smart John Wells Trust, which has managed the studios since 1949, to restore the studios and develop and promote tourism, Cornwall Council said.

The latest £1.56m includes £525,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £150,000 from English Heritage, £643,000 from the European Regional Development Fund, and £250,000 from the European Fisheries Fund.

It will be added to a £900,000 grant from the Sea Change seaside regeneration initiative, plus a £1.25m award from Arts Council England.

It means a total of £3.7m has been raised for the restoration work.

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