TRIBUTE has been paid to Sir Peter Moores, the man who saved Compton Verney from ruin, following his death at the age of 83.
The philanthropist inherited a half share in the family business – the Littlewoods pools, retailing and mail order empire – and established a charitable foundation to further his interests, particularly in music and the visual arts, including the creation of the world-renown art gallery at the 18th century mansion Compton Verney, near Wellesbourne.
Professor Steven Parissien, director of Compton Verney, said “Sir Peter Moores, was one of the country’s most liberal arts benefactors. He used The Peter Moores Foundation to rescue what remained of the estate at Compton Verney in 1993.
“ In the ensuing years, Sir Peter and his Foundation created a world-class art gallery in the Georgian mansion and a new, purpose-built wing – an act which constitutes one of the most outstanding acts of cultural patronage in post-war Britain.
“In addition, Sir Peter himself generously donated four of the permanent collections now housed in the gallery, which opened to the public in 2004 and is now an independent charitable trust.
“In the gallery’s earliest years, the Foundation supported the business through a generous annual subsidy. When this ended in 2010, an endowment fund was set up to help with Compton Verney’s long-term running costs, and the Foundation continued to support elements of the exhibition programme until it closed in 2014.
“We remain immensely grateful to Sir Peter for his original support, generosity and vision. Without his intervention and imagination, Compton Verney would today be a romantic ruin, and the inspiring art gallery and park that has been developed there a mere pipe dream.
“Not only does Sir Peter’s magnificent achievement leave the nation with a significant legacy; in addition, his farsighted patronage of the arts will continue to serve as an exemplary model for others in the years ahead.”
Compton Verney – which sits in the middle of 120 acres of parkland designed by Capability Brown – is home to celebrated permanent art collections from Chinese bronzes to British Folk Art, and exhibitions and displays.