Building sustainable partnerships


Poltimore House: building sustainable partnerships  

Poltimore House
is working with the community, education, arts and business to create a centre of innovation led by a deeply held vision for a sustainable future. We work with funding bodies to raise the necessary capital to repair the house, including English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund, Architectural Heritage Fund, Exeter Historic Buildings Trust, Country Houses Foundation, The Georgian Group, Wolfson Foundation, the Pilgrim Trust, the Norman Family Trust and others. 

Since October 2010 we have been working with the Shilhay Community, and volunteers from Shilhay have become regular supporters working with us to renovate the 1908 Kitchens to create our Project Centre. Funded by a ‘Your Heritage’ grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Access, Interpretation, Learning and Archive project has provided space for volunteers, for events, learning and skills training and space for visiting schools and history groups. The Project Centre has hosted many events, and is now available for hire for outside organisations. 

We are working with the University of Exeter to develop our understanding of our past through the Community and Landscape project in partnership with the Archaeology and History departments. This two-year project has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and has resulted in many valuable findings and new insights into the history of the people who owned Poltimore House and those lived and worked on the estate. That project is now complete, and the reports which have resulted are available at Poltimore House, and with many documents and maps available on the specific website at

We are working with local schools, including Broadclyst Community Primary School, St James’s School, St Peter’s School and Ellen Tinkham School in Exeter, to offer opportunities to discover the heritage of Poltimore and the possibilities of our grounds to provide learning and activity. We are working with Bicton College to look further at the development of the grounds and arboretum at Poltimore House.

We are working with Corbel Conservation Ltd to develop a training centre at Poltimore House, enabling training in  conservation building skills in a heritage context.
Poltimore is ideally located with close connections with Exeter, the airport, M5 and rail links. Our amazingly tranquil grounds provide a special quality to the experience of working at Poltimore, and we see our future as a focal point for Exeter for social, economic and environment sustainability, encouraging creative thinking and creative practice in a fine heritage context. Once we can be open to all as a collaborative space and networking hub, Poltimore will bring together diverse communities of practice in enterprise, creative industries and the arts.

The vision for Poltimore House has developed through workshops, dialogue with a range of stakeholders, and the input of business leaders and the arts in the South West. See a glimpse of a visioning workshop here .  We are currently working closely with the University of Exeter and a number of companies and advisors to develop our business strategy and investment plan.

Poltimore House
is to become a focus for innovation and strategic thinking in a context of environmental sustainability. The House will become the focus for new activities and  business ventures, nurturing enterprise and cultural activities, encouraging creative collaborations across diverse disciplines. We are working to make a contribution to the economy as well as to create a place on the cultural map of the South West and beyond. Poltimore House makes a contribution to community learning about heritage, the arts and culture and our programme of events provide opportunities to enjoy theatre, music, visual arts and craft events.

Through partnership Poltimore House is planning new initiatives including:

Creative innovation in the environment: creating new thinking, new practice, new learning, new skills: linking academia, heritage, industry, technology and the arts with sustainable living in a world of a changing climate.

The Poltimore Forum: a programme of lectures, workshops and mentoring sessions will provide for the local community and will focus in particular on topics for those with creative, economic and environmental interests.

A workplace for a creative community: we aim to develop high-specification  hot-desking, workshops and studios in a location with excellent communications, encouraging a sustainable mutually supportive community of entrepreneurs and artists, media companies, filmmakers and software developers.

An exhibition space: exploiting the amazing spaces at Poltimore – both inside and outside – we will work with artists, curators and in partnership with regional galleries, to provide an inspiring place to develop arts projects, installations and performance and to showcase regional arts, crafts.

A different day out: Poltimore – house and grounds – is a vibrant, working environment welcoming visitors to share this inspiring place for a time. We are working to provide greater resources and facilities, including high quality local food,  opportunities to gain new skills and learning, to find space to engage with with new networks, to find relaxation and fun. Becoming a member of Poltimore House will provide all this for a reasonable annual sum.

The future development of Poltimore House is integral to the Strategic Business Plan which envisages the repair and renovation of the house, step by step, while the Poltimore community and partners work together to raise funds, sponsorship and new opportunities.

If you would like to learn more about this new venture and how to get involved in developing this very special place into a unique facility, please make contact to create an opportunity to meet and come and visit.