Painter JMW Turner’s decaying Twickenham villa will be saved and restored, thanks to a £1.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Grade II* listed Sandycombe Lodge, in Sandycoombe Road, is currently on English Heritage’s at risk register, but will now be restored by Turner’s House Trust.

The trust has spent years raising funds to preserve the property, designed by Turner as a country retreat for him and his father between 1813 and 1826.

Blondel Cluff, chairman of the HLF London committee, said: “Interest in Turner has never been greater, as reflected in the success of the recent biographical film and the current exhibition of his work at Tate Britain.

“The restoration of this modest, classical property introduces us to Turner, the architect, adding a whole new dimension to our understanding of this great artist. “Sandycombe Lodge allows us all to literally walk inside the work of one of the world’s leading artists – a truly unique experience.”

Culture secretary Sajid Javid visited the building and was given a tour of the house on Thursday, learning about Turner’s time there.

He said: “I was thrilled when we got confirmation of this grant – the house will be transformed and it is a huge inspiration to so many people.

“The grant has been awarded just in time to save this unique and important property.”

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Twickenham’s Conservative parliamentary candidate Tania Mathias said it was an important time to celebrate culture, following the terrorist attack on French newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

She said: “Today, I just think it is so important to celebrate culture because of what is going on in France.

“It is important to celebrate it and protect it and an artist is an example of freedom of expression.”

The restoration is due to be completed in 2016, and the lodge will be open for 46 weeks a year with the help of 60 volunteers.

Later additions to the building will be removed to return it to Turner's own design, with a number of themes for visitors to explore.

Among the themes will be Turner the painter, his personal and domestic life, Turner the architect and the historical context of the era.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

A new website will be built and people with restricted mobility will be able to access a 3D virtual tour of the first floor and basement.

A collection of artworks relating to Turner will also be cleaned and catalogued.

Turner’s House Trust chairman Catherine Parry-Wingfield said: “HLF’s award is the most wonderful news and will allow the trust to bring this beautiful building back to life.”

The building is open to the public for just one afternoon each month and for special events.