An update from Siân Harrington, CEO of Fulham Palace
I’m delighted to be able to let you know that the Fulham Palace botanic garden will re-open free of charge seven days per week, dawn to 18.00 (last admission 17.00), from Monday 29 June. The café will re-open for takeaway only, from 9.30 to 17.00. Our external toilets will be open from 9.30 to 17.30. The walled garden will be open 10.15 to 4.15 pm as usual.
As a temporary measure, until the end of August, we are introducing a voluntary donation to enter the walled garden – £2 for adults and £1 for children aged 5 and over. Entry will be free for Friends and patrons. The donation for the walled garden entry is designed to help us manage numbers to this enclosed space, and to cover the significant additional costs of security, toilet cleaning and supplies needed to keep the rest of the site free for all our visitors to enjoy.
We are all really looking forward to welcoming you back! I want to reassure you that we will be fully compliant with government guidance, providing frequent cleaning of the toilets, supplies of hand sanitiser at key touch points, adherence to good hygiene by staff working in the café, marked out social distancing for queuing and provision of PPE for staff and volunteers as necessary. We will be actively checking the site and making sure that visitors are observing social distancing guidelines.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. We are all really looking forward to welcoming you back!
Supporting Fulham Palace
While re-opening gives hope for the future, we have faced unprecedented challenges during these difficult times. We have had little commercial and fundraising income and are facing a drop of income of at least 20% this year (£250,000-£300,000). Without this income we face an uncertain future as we have just months of reserves left. We are not yet sure when we will be able to re-open our museum, shop and the café internal seating area, which also provides crucial income for us.
We are exploring different initiatives such as undertaking more digital engagement, and investigating different funding streams to help us stabilise our finances. We have applied for a business rates holiday and grant from the local authority and furloughed around half of our staff. As a next point of call we are hoping to secure some emergency funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and will know the result of our application sometime towards the middle of July.
Fulham Palace Trust is an independent charity and we are reliant on money from weddings, events, café, shop and office and residential lets to employ our small staff team and open the site free of charge for the local community to enjoy, 365 days per year. We have drawn up plans to re-open the site, even though this is going to cost us more money than usual due to the additional hygiene and safety measures we need put in place, because we know how much you all love the Palace and have missed spending time in the beautiful garden.
If you are able to help us, in whatever way you can, we would be very grateful. Donate now