The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced £1.2m of Lottery funding to help secure the future of 12 of the South East's most historic places of worship.
The money will help congregations address a back log of urgent repairs to listed churches and chapels at risk.
The affected churches include: St Michael in Lewes,Sussex, St and St Paul in Upper Stoke,Kent, the Church of St Paul, Shanklin on the Isle of Wight and St Mary's in Headley near Epsom, Surrey.
St Mary the Virgin in Stone-next-Dartford, Kent is amongst the first of 35 churches across the UK to be awarded a grant through the Heritage Lottery Fund's new 'Grants for Places of Worship' programme.
There is a place of worship in almost every ward ward, village and town across the South East of England, providing a very powerful visual connection with our past."
– Stuart McLeod, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund in South East
The county's leading nature conservation organisation has been awarded nearly £56,000 to oversee a new nature project.
Sussex Wildlife Trust have been awarded £55,600 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to oversee 'Wild about Worthing' which is an urban nature project.
The two-year project allows Worthing residents a chance to experience the natural world while encouraging local wildlife to thrive in the specially created environment.
Planned activities include a town-wide gardening competition and a Forest School programme offering outdoor learning to pupils.
Although Worthing is densely populated, it has a huge wildlife potential with the South Downs National Park on one side and the coast on the other. Thanks to HLF's generous funding we can give the local community a chance to learn about all the wonderful wildlife on their doorstep and provide vital urban greenspaces where nature can flourish."
– Pete Crawford, Sussex Wildlife Trust's Head of People and Wildlife
Hampshire’s only working windmill is to be restored afterreceiving a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Bursledon windmill has used the £94,000 grant to recruitaround 20 volunteers to run guided tours and support the site for the future.
Stuart McLeod, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East England, said: “This building is of significance as a result of its unique qualities. Its physical restoration will be augmented by volunteer efforts that will once more creating a living, working example of the county’s heritage.”
The windmill is the only complete structure of its kind left in Hampshire, and one of only 27 in Britain that work regularly, so it is of huge importance to the Bursledon area as a community asset, a learning resource and a visitor attraction.”
– Keith Chapman, Hampshire County Council Executive Member for Culture and Recreation
Rochester Cathedral is to receive £3.5m from the Lottery for a mammoth revamp of its facilities. David Johns reports, talking to Mark Beach, Dean of the Cathedral, and Stuart McLeod from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Hastings Pier could be restored soon after an £11.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The pier was almost destroyed in a blaze in October 2010. Images of how the new structure would look have been released.
Lottery officials are visiting Hastings Pier today, after it was badly damaged by a major fire in 2010. The fact finding visit will help the Heritage Lottery Fund decide later this month whether to approve an £11m bid from the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust to rebuild the structure.
Peter Chowney, from Hastings Borough Council, said: “We have seen some very welcome investment in Hastings over recent years, and there is a real positive feel about our future. Our seafront is a key part of that – it’s our shop window, it’s what investors see in our town."