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Bid for major improvements to Penrith's Castle Park

Castle Park in Penrith. Credit: Eden District Council

A community group in Penrith is bidding for almost £2 million in lottery funding to restore Castle Park in the town.

The money would be used to make the playground and obstacle golf course bigger, refurbish the Memorial Gate and Black Angel War Memorial, and build a car park.

A level bridge would be built across to Penrith Castle, making it more accessible, and a water feature next to the cafe would be reinstated.

The total cost of the potential project would be £2.46 million, and the bid has been developed by the Castle Park Development Group with support from Eden District Council.

I feel we have put together an application which demonstrates the public’s desire to see improvements at Castle Park and which reflects its history and heritage. I sincerely hope that the application is successful to enable us all to move on to make the improvements happen. Heritage Lottery Fund will announce if application has been successful in July 2017.

– Ron Kenyon, Chairman of the Castle Park Development Group


New life for disused Whitehaven railway

Credit: ITV Border

A disused 19th century railway is to be transformed into an industrial heritage arts trail thanks to a £50,000 grant.

The project, funded by Heritage Lottery, will aim to help unravel the history of the iron railroads in Moor Row, near Whitehaven.

Lottery funding for Dumfries archive centre rejected

A bid for Lottery cash to fund a new archive centre in Dumfries has been turned down.

Dumfries and Galloway Council applied for £2.7million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) but the application was rejected with the HLF citing intense competition from around the UK as the main contributory factor in the failed bid.

But council bosses say they're investigating alternative funding options and determined to press ahead with plans for a new archive centre that will be based at the Ewart Library site.

“A new archive centre for Dumfries and Galloway is long overdue and something that our council is committed to providing for both the people of the region as well as visitors to the area.

"It is important that we have a modern facility to allow visitors to the centre access to state of the art search facilities. Our council will be keeping the archive centre development work high on its agenda over the coming months and a report will come to community and customer services committee in due course detailing our plans for the archive centre.”

– Cllr Tom McAughtrie, Chairman of the council’s community and customer services committee

The proposed centre is set to hold over 6km of records and will increase public access to archives and local studies as well as aiding the regeneration of Dumfries town centre.

“The Heritage Lottery Fund recognises the importance of the Dumfries and Galloway archive to the community. However, we were unable to provide a grant for this application because demands for funding were high and decisions had to be taken on more projects than the available budget could support. We are happy to discuss with the Council opportunities for developing the project with a view to the best way forward.”

– Heritage Lottery Fund spokesperson

Stone circles inspire £27,000 project

The project will use stone circles as inspiration Credit: Karen Barbier

A group of young musicians in Cumbria has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project that will see them create digital resources for local museums.

Buejam Arts, in Penrith, has been given a grant of £27,000 to help create videos and accompanying soundtracks inspired by local stone circles.

The Stone Mass Project will produce four films that will then be showcased at events at Penrith Museum, Rheged IMAX and the Alhambra Cinema throughout 2015.

Those producing the videos will research the history and myths and legends surrounding Long Meg and Her Daughters, and other Neolithic sites in the area.


Frustration after Council misses out on Stranraer funding

Dumfries and Galloway Council is confident the regeneration of Stranraer town centre will go ahead, despite missing out on funding.

Bids were made to the Heritage Lottery Fund, and Historic Scotland, for grants to help the £3.5 million project.

But the high level of competition for the funds means the council has been invited to resubmit its application in August.

The council remains committed to spending £1 million on the regeneration.

"It’s very frustrating that funding has not been approved at this stage due to the sheer number of applications and the competitive nature of the process.

"However, the HLF Scotland team supported our application and both they and Historic Scotland recognise the proposed improvements as an excellent project.

"The Council has been encouraged to resubmit our applications by HLF and Historic Scotland, so we will continue to try to secure external funding.

"However, I’m very clear that even if we do not secure that funding, the £1 million set aside for regenerating Stranraer town centre will remain in place to spend in the town centre to improve key buildings”

– Cllr Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council

Carlisle Cathedral's Fratry Project is back on track

Carlisle Cathedral Credit: ITV Border

Plans to create a multi-million pound heritage teaching and learning centre at Carlisle Cathedral are back on track.

The Heritage Lottery Funding has confirmed initial funding of £81,000 for its plans to develop world-class facilities in the Fratry building inside the Cathedral precinct.

This grant means work can now take place to complete a new building design, and should lead to a second grant application of £1.8 million from the HLF within two years.

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