Saturday, 31 October 2015

Broads Landscape Partnership secures £2.6m from Heritage Lottery Fund

Halvergate marshes by Mike Page
The Broads Landscape Partnership has received an earmarked grant¹ of £2.6m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme² for the Water, Mills and Marshes project, it was announced today.

The project aims to enrich and promote heritage sites in the area between Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Acle and Loddon, unlock the benefits of this distinctive landscape for local people and give them the skills to protect it as a legacy for future generations.

Development funding of £226,000 has
also been awarded to help the partnership progress its plans to apply for a full grant at a later date. Work on the development phase will begin this year while the second round is scheduled for 2017. Fifty-five organisations will then be involved in implementing 38 individual projects over a five-year delivery phase. The project will be worth a total of £4.5m including match funding.

The scheme will see people from all walks of life and ages from urban and rural areas understanding, benefitting from and enjoying the special landscape of the Broads and, through capturing stories from older generations and training younger people in heritage skills, will ensure that it is enjoyed for the future.

Iconic drainage mills on Halvergate marshes, an area which boasts one of the greatest concentrations in Europe, will be documented and renovated through a Heritage Construction Skills training scheme.

Local people's access to, and appreciation of, activities within their landscape will improve through activity points at each of the urban hubs, improved interpretation and information throughout the area and through initiatives like Youth Ranger schemes and special celebrations.

The project will also explore potential archaeological sites and recreate the skills required in the reconstruction of the medieval Chet boat.

Halvergate Highs by Julian Claxton
The Broads National Park is a mosaic of land and water shaped by people over centuries through their interaction with it for work and recreation and as a result is rich in unique and important built and natural heritage as well as hidden archaeology. It is also home to more than a quarter of the nation’s rarest species, despite occupying less than 0.1% of the UK.

John Packman, Chief Executive of lead partner the Broads Authority, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with this award which will not only help enhance the Broads landscape but will broaden people’s idea of what that landscape means, help them connect with it and give them the skills to cherish it.”

Explaining the importance of HLF’s support, Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “The Broads National Park is Britain's largest protected wetland and third largest inland waterway, and one of the most beautiful and recognisable landscapes in the UK.

“It also contains a fascinating array of built, industrial heritage in the form of drainage mills, ancient dykes and listed buildings. I’m delighted that thanks to National Lottery players we have been able to fund this project to save this precious drained marsh landscape, conserve threatened habitats and species, and to reconnect people with the natural heritage all around them.”

A selection of partner and MP quotes are below: Director of Construction at Easton and Otley College, Lynsey Wilson, said, "The college will be offering our current students the opportunity of gaining new skills and work experience via this scheme. We will also be looking to recruit new students to provide support for an initiative that will see them working on projects across Norfolk and Suffolk."

Hugh Taylor, Mayor of Beccles, said: “The development of public access to, and visitor facilities within, the Broads National Park is something which will benefit everyone who lives near and all who treasure the delights of the River Waveney and the surrounding landscape.”

Linda Rogers, Head of Development at Voluntary Norfolk, said: “Right from the start, the Partnership has recognised the importance and value of involving volunteers and local communities in enjoying, understanding and caring for the Broads and we look forward to being part of the ongoing development of this extraordinary project.”
Heritage skills training

Norfolk County Councillor and Heritage Champion Brian Watkins said: “A great strength is the involvement of so many people and communities who will be working together to deliver real benefits to the area’s heritage and to the many people who live in, work in and visit the Broads.”

Greg Luton, Planning Director at Historic England, said: “In the East of England, windmills, wind pumps and watermills are high on our 'at risk' list of buildings. Some 41% of those mills at risk nationally are here in the East. This is why the Water, Mills and Marshes: Broads Landscape Partnership project is so important.”

Jacquie Burgess, Chairman of the Broads Authority, said: "Members are delighted that the hard work by Broads Authority staff and our partners in preparing the bid has been rewarded. We all look forward to an exciting 18 months, as plans for the projects included in the bid are firmed up."

Peter Aldous, MP for Lowestoft, said: “The Broads National Park is a unique British landscape, with Beccles Quay and Nicholas Everitt Park being its Suffolk gateways. Their enhancement and the other proposed works will not only help tourism and jobs, but will ensure that this special area is conserved, protected and enhanced for the benefit of Lowestoft and Beccles residents.”

To find out more about the project visit www.broads-authority.gov.uk/water-mills-marshes

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