PSVT awarded £20,000 to help restore Boating Pond

The Boating Pond as it looks filled with water, with the Sea Peace fountain in operation

Port Sunlight Village Trust has received a £20,000 Movement for Good Award from Benefact Group to help fund conservation work on the village’s Boating Pond and its fountain, Sea Piece.

Built in 1932, the pond is located next to the world-class Lady Lever Art Gallery and is the work of one of the village’s most prolific architects, James Lomax-Simpson. The fountain at the centre of the pond was added in 1946 and was designed by Sir Charles Wheeler. It is one of several major public monuments cared for by Port Sunlight Village Trust.

Over the decades, the Boating Pond has suffered from significant problems caused by the original design and early use of materials like concrete and cement. This has meant the stonework has deteriorated due to saturation, leaking water into the surrounding ground.

A difficult decision was made in early 2021 to turn off the fountain and drain the pond to prevent contamination of the ground and stop the wastage of water. Since then, PSVT has continued to explore solutions with conservation architects and Wirral Council.

The work required to protect the stonework, pond basin and bronze fountain will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, so the £20,000 award from Benefact Group will form an essential part of the funding needed to move forward with the project to get the fountain flowing again.

PSVT was one of 31 charities chosen by a panel of judges to receive a share of £500,000 as part of Benefact Group’s Movement for Good Awards, which is giving over £1million to good causes this year.

The awards are designed to help charities make a real difference in their communities. More than 500 charities applied for the funding which is being put towards the advancement of heritage and arts, education, rural and community, climate, human rights and equality. The winning projects were selected against four criteria: impact and effectiveness, sustainability, innovation, and care and compassion.

Paul Harris, Chief Executive of PSVT, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive the Movement for Good award, which will be invested in restoring the Boating Pond and its fountain, Sea Piece.

“PSVT will launch its first 10-Year Monuments Strategy in 2023, setting out how we will restore, maintain, and explore the stories and legacies of the monuments around the village. The restoration of the Boating Pond and its fountain has been identified as one of the first projects within our strategy and this funding marks the beginning of a process which will include fundraising, consulting with our stakeholders and inspiring project work.”

Mark Hews, Group Chief Executive of Benefact Group, said: “At Benefact Group we believe business should be a force for good. More than ever, charitable causes need sustained support and a sense of financial stability. Through our Movement for Good larger-grant awards, we are championing a more imaginative way of supporting charities so that they can have some certainty in these challenging times. We know our funding can be a lifeline to those who are struggling with cost-of-living increases and a grant of this scale can make a huge difference to the incredible work that charities do.”

Movement for Good is funded by EIO plc, part of the Benefact Group.

Find out how you can donate and support Port Sunlight Village Trust’s work to care for the village and its important monuments here.

Keep an eye on our website, social media and newsletter for updates on our work to care for Port Sunlight’s monuments including the Boating Pond.