Plans to restore Dover Town Hall have taken another major step forward with a new funding commitment of £130,000.
This is from the Wolfson Foundation, a grant-making charity that supports projects around the country.
The restoration project for the Grade I Maison Dieu includes essential conservation work to its internationally significant medieval and neo-gothic interiors.
It also includes creating a new visitor entrance to Connaught Hall, improving access throughout the building, and putting disused spaces to commercial use.
Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation said: “Maison Dieu plays a pivotal part in the life of those living and working in central Dover, and reflects the rich history of this important town.
"We are pleased to support the work for such a fascinating building."
Cllr Trevor Bartlett, leader of Dover District Council, said: “We’re delighted to be working with The Wolfson Foundation on this exciting project to secure the future of the Maison Dieu as one of Dover’s most significant historic buildings.
“Restoring it is a key part of our strategy to support the wider regeneration of Dover town centre."
The restoration project is by both Dover's district and town councils and the civic group the Dover Society.
The project is estimated at just over £8 million and £427,400 million has already been secured from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
A second round application, for £4.7 million from the NLHF, will be submitted in June.
A public consultation is also underway on the latest design proposals.
Specific planned improvements also include:
Improvements to Connaught Hall, including the restoration of William Burges’ decorative interiors.
Improvements to the kitchen and servery facilities to increase catering capacity.
Conversion of the Mayor’s Parlour into a holiday let, including restoring Burges’ decorative interiors, to be let by The Landmark Trust.
Conversion of the former Visitor Information Centre and gaol cells into a café to be let commercially.
The Maison Dieu, in Biggin Street, can trace its history back to the 13th century when it was founded as a medieval hospital and used by pilgrims travelling from continental Europe to Canterbury Cathedral to visit the shrine of Thomas Becket.
It was later used as a naval victualling yard and was extensively remodelled in the 19th century by the Victorian architects Ambrose Poynter and William Burges.
The works included the development of civic offices, a court room and gaol, and a concert hall.
The building is a rare example of William Burges’ civic work and seen as an important landmark in the Gothic revival style.
The Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity that supports and promotes excellence in science, health, education, and the arts and humanities.
Since it was established in 1955, more than £900 million (£1.9 billion in real terms) has been awarded to more than 11,000 projects throughout the UK.