1997, Bid 1 - Although the heritage and public benefits were noted by the HLF it was rejected which left us in limbo. We were invited to reapply with concessions.
1999, Bid 2 - This bid was based on a number of HLF concessions . However, despite the new offer by HLF to achieve funding when we re-applied, the senior officers who had given the undertaking had been relocated. This meant our application was assessed as if for the first time, not just on those areas we had been asked to look at in more detail. Whilst there might have been grounds for us to consider a formal appeal, this would only have dealt with the maladministration aspects, not the core issues.
Bid 3 - Robert Hobbs, Asst Director of Community Services for London Borough of Merton now made a timely intervention with HLF and after a meeting it was acknowledged there were some unfortunate aspects of the process. Robert now proposed the historic architect who was engaged to restore Morden Park House with HLF funding to offer further professional advice. We are now pleased to have the assistance of architect's Acanthus, Lawrence & Wrightson so that we may respond to the HLF more positively. We agree this is the best way forward and we are mindful that the HLF now have a re- commitment to this project. Also it is time for a fresh look and we are persuaded that everybody wants this project to succeed