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£1.2m funding to repair churches

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

£55,000 grant for Worthing wildlife

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

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Kent to receive share of £47m heritage funding

Key historic sites across our region are to receive part of £47m funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Henry VII's hunting lodge in Kent has be chosen to receive the money as part of a scheme to improve the country's heritage tourism economy.

The medieval palace at Knole will get £7.75m for repairs and conservation, as well as new visitor facilities and opening up previously unseen rooms.

Funding will also safeguard artefacts including fragile furniture from two Royal palaces and the original 17th century Knole settee.

The money from the Heritage Lottery Fund is aimed to promote the country's historic sites, which the Lottery Fund said was already worth £26 billion a year.

We know that heritage is a huge draw for visitors from home and abroad. More than a quarter of all UK holiday activities undertaken by UK residents now involve heritage.

These projects all offer the public the chance to explore and enjoy our rich and complex history."

– Carole Souter, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund

Hampshire's last windmill restored

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

Cathedral awarded £3.5m for public access projects

Rochester Cathedral has been awarded more than £3.5million by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The money will go towards creating and running exhibitions and workshops in the crypt and library.

The cash boost will also mean that people will have access to parts of the Cathedral that they have not seen before. David Johns reports.

Interviewees: Mark Beach the Dean of Rochester, and Stuart McLeod from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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D-Day for pier future

Workers assess the damage after the fire on Hastings Pier Credit: PA

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."

The future of the Hastings Pier remains undecided Credit: PA