The Charleston Centenary Project has been given a huge boost as two £250,000 donations were made in the space of a fortnight.
The Sussex Express told how William and Virginia Nicholson gave a quarter of a million pounds to the restorative project at the end of January.
After hearing this, Sir Christopher and Lady Ondaatje were moved into pledging the same.
The Ondaatjes are already long-standing supporters of Charleston through the Ondaatje Foundation, which supports literary and artistic causes.
The Ondaatjes’ donation of £250,000 takes the total raised for the project to £6m, with a further £2.5m needed to complete the project.
Work will now begin in the spring on the building of a new art gallery, an archive store, a creative learning studio and enable it to carry out much-needed preservation work on Charleston’s Grade II listed barns, which will form a new café and 200-seat auditorium.
Alistair Burtenshaw, Charleston’s Director, said: “We are overwhelmed by the Ondaatjes’ generous gift and we’re grateful for their enduring support and vision in supporting literature and the arts.
Sir Christopher Ondaatje said:“We were instantly prompted to get involved with this significant project on hearing how unbelievably generous Bill and Virginia Nicholson have been.
“Charleston is a truly unique creative environment and we urge anyone who is able to join us in cementing its future as an artistic and intellectual hub.”
Charleston is an independent charity and receives no public funding. It relies on the income generated from activities and events as well as donations and grants from supporters.
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