The Chamberlain Highbury Trust appoints Project Manager for £8m restoration of Highbury.

The Chamberlain Highbury Trust has appointed a Project Manager to manage the Development and Delivery Phase of ‘Restoring Chamberlain’s Highbury’ – an £8m National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) project to restore and develop the family home of Joseph Chamberlain for the benefit of the people of Birmingham.

These pictures show essential works from 2020 to restore a frieze in the main hall and roof.

Following a tender process, the partnership of Cultural Consulting Network and Focus Consultants was chosen, providing the trust with expertise from within the heritage sector and in project management.

David Kidney said “We are delighted to have appointed Katie Norgrove, CCN and Florence Andrews, Focus Consultants to manage this project. It’s an incredibly important role and will help us to realise our vision for a Highbury that can be enjoyed by the local community”.

Katie has been an expert advisor, monitor and mentor for the Heritage Fund for over 20 years on a broad mix of conservation, capital and audience development projects. She is currently mentoring projects both in Development and Delivery Phase that range from a Grade I listed church in a rural village in Herefordshire to the redevelopment of the Holocaust and Second World War Galleries at the Imperial War Museum.

Florence is an experienced Chartered Surveyor and Project Manager with a background in community development within the cultural and regeneration sectors. NLHF funded projects that Florence has worked on include Pitzhanger Manor, Walpole Park, Gunnersbury Park and Museum, St. Marylebone, The Amelia Scott –Tunbridge Wells, Barking Townscape, and St. Mary’s Walthamstow. Katie and Florence said “We are really thrilled to be working with the Chamberlain Highbury Trust to help make their dream of returning Highbury to its former glory for 21st century citizens of Birmingham a reality.”

Highbury, built in 1878, is in need of restoration of both its internal and external fabric including works to the roof, windows and internal rooms. The Grade II listed house, which was placed on the Heritage at Risk Register in 2019, sits in Grade II* listed grounds which are also in need of further restoration, building upon the recent £300,000 Historic England funded Gardens project completed in 2021.

The development phase will take the successful round 1 NLHF bid and add further detail to the project ready for assessment by the NLHF at round 2. If the detailed proposals are given the green light, £3.2m of funding will be made available to restore the house and grounds.

Volunteers working hard on our gardens project.


For further information call David Kidney on 07966 378844 or email


About Highbury

Built in 1878 Highbury became famous for political and social gatherings where Chamberlain delivered a number of important policy speeches. Winston Churchill visited and said Chamberlain was “the man who made the political weather”. After Chamberlain’s death in 1914, Highbury was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers during World War 1. In 1919 son Austen transferred Highbury to a civic trust for ‘the general benefit of the citizens of Birmingham’. and in 1932 Birmingham City Council took ownership of the property as sole trustee. For the next 50 years Highbury was a care home until in 1984 it was partially restored for civic entertaining and conferences. Today, the aim is to fully restore Highbury as a major visitor attraction, and especially for the communities around it, Kings Heath, Moseley and Stirchley, to accommodate business enterprise, youth leadership training and sustainable development.

About Chamberlain Highbury Trust

The Chamberlain Highbury Trust was formed 6 years ago to lead on this re-purposing. We are a small, young and independent charitable trust, responsible for managing and making accessible the Grade II* listed Venetian Gothic mansion and Grade II listed gardens that form the Highbury estate. The mansion is now weather-proof and we have extended accessibility around the gardens with the benefit of grants from Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Now we have big plans for a Lottery-funded complete restoration project to fully deliver on our “public benefit” duty – welcoming more visitors, delivering on our youth leadership education ambition and providing start-up business spaces for local entrepreneurs.

About Joseph Chamberlain

In the 19th Century, Joseph Chamberlain was a towering presence in Birmingham’s political world. As Mayor, he brought huge improvements to water, gas and sewerage services for residents and slum clearance. As a Birmingham MP, he was a radical who pressed for free school education. His home, Highbury, was a hive of political and community activity and he was an incredibly popular, albeit controversial, Member of Parliament.

About the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) grant

A Development Grant means that NLHF believes that our Project has potential to deliver high-quality outcomes and value for Lottery players’ money. Our application will have been in competition with other supportable projects, so a Development Grant is recognition that NLHF values our proposals and wants to have the opportunity to assess them in detail in our Delivery Phase Application later.