Heritage groups across the region get share of £100m grant pot

  • Rob Setchell reports on the grants in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex

  • Rebecca Haworth reports on the grants in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire

Heritage groups across the region are to receive a share of more than £100m from the Government.

Grimes Graves, Norfolk, and Ely Cathedral are among 69 recipients across the region to receive a share of £103 million Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage

The Government says the grants of up to £1 million will deliver a lifeline for the heritage sector in England with further support to follow and larger grants for capital projects awarded through the Heritage Stimulus Fund

The park was founded by engineer Charles Wicksteed. Credit: ITV Anglia.

Wicksteed Park in Kettering will receive £270,000. It closed in March and went into administration after lockdown left it with no income.

This cash will be in addition to a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant and a fundraising appeal.

Heritage railway groups will share more than £600,000. The biggest share goes to North Norfolk Railway which gets £360,000, the Mid Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust gets £190,000.

Dereham Station Credit: Mid Norfolk Railway

Mid Norfolk Railway says it will use the cash to do essential track maintenance work in a socially distanced way, restore a coach with social distancing in mind plus invest in IT equipment so staff can work more effectively from home.

Also getting smaller awards were the Colne Valley Railway Preservation group in Essex which gets £20,000, Northampton Steam Railway Limited awarded £46,000 andRushden Historical Transport Society netting £31,900.

Old Buckenham Mill in 1936 Credit: Norfolk County Council

£120,000 will be spent on Old Buckenham Mill in Norfolk. It will mean the 202-year-old mill can be reopened.

Major repair works will start immediately. It's been closed since 2018 when a bulge in the brickwork started to get worse.

Ely Cathedral is one of the beneficiaries

The recipients also include Bungay St Mary’s Church in Suffolk which is set to receive £164,678 and Ely Cathedral which will be awarded £270,000.

The funding is part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive said:

Historic England says the grants will give skilled craft workers the chance to keep their trades alive and helping heritage organisations pay the bills. The money will also kick-start repair works at historic sites.