Lens Lab Leeds sharing event at Mill Hill Chapel in Leeds. Photography(LEEDS 2023)

National Lottery funding puts ‘heritage at the heart’ of six projects with £13.7m funding

Image: Lens Lab Leeds sharing event at Mill Hill Chapel in Leeds. Photography(LEEDS 2023)

In one of the largest funding announcements since the start of the pandemic, the projects supported in this latest announcement are set to protect heritage and support communities.

The National Lottery has announced one of the largest funding rounds for heritage projects since the Heritage Fund’s grant programmes reopened after the coronavirus pandemic.

Six projects will receive a total of £13.7m to back projects including threatened species in Scotland and a hard-hit community in Northumberland.

The projects backed are:

£4.2m: NatureScot’s Species on the Edge project

A partnership of eight Scottish nature conservation organisations will see the project support 37 of Scotland’s most vulnerable species by creating new opportunities for conservation and community action in a wide range of project areas around Scotland’s coasts and islands. Working through communities, the project is hoped to inspire interest in the natural heritage and establish legacy action to help tackle the biodiversity crisis.

£636,600: Blyth Tall Ship’s Community Response project

Blyth Tall Ship, a charity which uses maritime heritage and traditional vessels to provide skills training, has launched a new project in direct response to the impacts of the pandemic.

Hundreds of participants will be able to take part in entry level group activities designed to develop skills and improve wellbeing and employability.

Focusing on those who are vulnerable due to lower levels of mental or physical health, those who are unemployed and those who are directed to the project via social prescribing initiative, the project aims to make a positive difference for people of all ages in Blyth.

£2.7m: Redruth Revival CIC’s Redruth Buttermarket: Rediscovering the Market Town

Set in the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, Redruth has had a long history as a market town and saw its fortunes rise and fall with the opening and then closing of the mines. Coupled with the decline of high streets across the country, Redruth now has a cluster of underused and deteriorating Grade II Listed buildings, collectively known as Redruth Buttermarket.

This project aims to conserve, repair and unlock the potential of the cluster of historic buildings to create an economically thriving, cultural and community hub at the heart of the town, reflective of its heyday.

It is hoped to create a new space for local businesses, affordable entry level work spaces, space for local food providers and an all-year festival and events space.

£2.1m: Leeds Culture Trust’s Leeds 2023 project

For its creative programme, the Leeds 2023 event aims to boost the social and economic fortunes of Leeds and the wider region, as well as boosting the resilience of the heritage and cultural sector. National Lottery funding will be used to help people experience Leeds in new ways, by uncovering hidden community stories, celebrating art, music, dance and industrial history.

£2.9m: Tweed Forum’s Destination Tweed: Source to Sea Restoration and Revitalisation project

National Lottery funding will support an ambitious five year project to create a new ‘source to sea’ Tweed trail on The River Tweed with the aim of creating a destination and reinvigorating the local landscape and economy.

The project will include restoring natural heritage, creating new (and developing existing) walking and cycling trails and hosting a varied programme of archaeology, heritage and cultural activities.

£1m: Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Hurst Farm Heritage Trail project

Set in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and once a mixed arable farm with meadows and pastures, Hurst Farm Estate was bought for social housing in the 1950s and is today the largest housing estate in the Derbyshire Dales.

This project will restore woodland surrounding the estate, enhance biodiversity and improve access to nature and green space. Community involvement will be a key aspect throughout the project.

It aims to improve the wellbeing and involvement of disadvantaged communities as well as protecting the area’s natural heritage which has been impacted by increased demand on greenspaces, particularly exacerbated by the recent pandemic lockdowns.

Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “I am delighted that we were able to support these exciting projects, which put heritage at the heart of people and places. It is so uplifting to see the continued ambition in the light of the impact of the pandemic and ongoing challenges, protecting our precious heritage and supporting communities to recover and thrive.”