Developing Proposals for New Place

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust open invitation to learn more about its developing proposals for Shakespeare’s New Place

15 August 2014

Open sessions at Stratford ArtsHouse

Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 August (8.30am-6.30pm)

Saturday 30 August (11am-2pm)

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is inviting everyone with an interest in the future of New Place to informal drop-in sessions for an update on its proposals to breathe fresh life into the unique heritage site at the heart of the Shakespeare’s story as a successful man of Stratford-upon-Avon.  The charity will hold the open invitation sessions at the Stratford Artshouse, where there will be a chance to see some of the designs under consideration and talk through the Trust’s developing proposals with members of the project team.

Last summer the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust announced its plans to reinvigorate New Place and  to tell the missing story of Shakespeare’s mature years there as a writer and citizen of Stratford-upon-Avon.  In January 2014 the Trust secured initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund to progress its plans to showcase the hidden heritage of the site and create a new landmark attraction in the West Midlands. 

Julie Crawshaw, Project Manager at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said, “We have consulted extensively with hundreds of individuals and many organisations over the past 12 months.  In response to feedback on our initial concepts we have worked up a fresh approach.  There is still a lot to do but we want to update on our progress as we continue to refine our plans to secure the long term survival of this unique site at the heart of the story of Shakespeare and Stratford.”

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust aims to re-present New Place as the gateway to the Shakespeare we have yet to meet – the husband, father, and successful businessman who owned the town’s largest residence for 19 years.   For the first time in four centuries, visitors will literally walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps through the entrance and be taken on an imaginative journey through his life and works.  Key elements of the project are set to include:

  • a new entrance based on location of the original gatehouse and an evocation of the footprint of Shakespeare’s family home in a new garden setting
  • urgent, essential conservation work to Nash’s House including the creation of a new exhibition centrewhere rare and important artefacts relating to New Place can be displayed, many of them for the first time.
  • a viewing platform and modern fully-accessible visitor facilities including  space for informal learning and family activities
  • an exciting programme of activities, events, community engagement and new  opportunities for staff, volunteers and apprenticeships
  • fresh interpretation in the Great Garden and conservation of the Knot Garden.  Residents of Stratford District will continue to enjoy free access to the gardens .

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is seeking funding to support the £5.25m project, with the aim of completing the work to open Shakespeare’s New Place for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016.

Dr Diana Owen, Director of the Trust said, “The transformation of New Place will be a catalyst for involving the communities of Stratford and the wider Midlands region with the internationally significant heritage on their doorstep.  With initial support from the HLF we now have an opportunity to create a lasting legacy which ensures that this important heritage survives and is understood and enjoyed for centuries to come. 

“It will also represent a very significant investment by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in sustaining and developing Stratford’s appeal as a global tourism destination.  Our Shakespearian heritage is a cornerstone of the tourism sector which employs 1 in 8 people and pumps £335 million into the local economy in Stratford district alone.  The next chapter at New Place can only strengthen that economy and all the jobs that rely on it in future.  We look forward to discussing our plans with everyone with an interest in this exciting project in the coming weeks.”

For further information:

Take a look at our latest plans online or contact us -

Lynn Beddoe
PR & Public Affairs Manager
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
T: 01789 207134


Notes to editors:

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times all over the world. The charity runs formal and informal educational programmes for people of all ages. It holds the world’s largest Shakespeare-related museum and archives open free to the public, a collection which is designated as being of international importance. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust receives no regular government funding public subsidy or direct government funding; it depends on income generated through the support of visitors, donors, volunteers and Friends.


Notes to editors:

The HLF has awarded the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust development funding of £176,000 to help it progress plans to apply for a full grant of up to £1.7m at a later date.

A first-round pass means the project meets HLF criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. Having been awarded a first-round pass, the project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award.

On occasion, an applicant with a first-round pass will also be awarded development funding towards the development of their scheme.


About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 36,000 projects with more than £5.9bn across the UK. Visit the HLF website.