North East Lincolnshire can build on the past, but through the lens of ‘the now’ its people can see their deep and rich connection to the sea, and also learn from their heritage.
And today (Sunday 8 October), in a major boost to its heritage and cultural work, the borough has been named as one of the UK’s initial nine “Heritage Places” by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), securing priority investment for the next 10 years.
With 11 more areas to be announced, in total there is a dedicated funding pot of £200m for North East Lincolnshire and the other 19 areas between now and 2033. The 20 places have been chosen based on their ‘heritage needs, opportunities and potential’.
Announcing the long-term Heritage Places project, Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of the NLHF said: “Our Heritage Places is designed to support in challenging times, to achieve even greater impact, and commits our funding for the long-term.”
Cllr Hayden Dawkins, North East Lincolnshire Council’s Cabinet member for Culture and Heritage, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as a ‘Heritage Place’ and look forward to continuing to work closely with the Heritage Fund to support our communities to explore their heritage
“It is amazing when you stop and consider the dedication and enthusiasm being displayed by a growing number of people and organisations in North East Lincolnshire – all who have a desire to see us all enjoy arts, culture and heritage and also learn and grow. Everyone here at the Council thanks all those involved, and we are excited to see what the future brings. This also builds on the regeneration of our borough and will complement the vast amount of work being done to transform our area,” he added.
Over the last few years, Heritage Fund support has been crucial to the borough’s journey of rediscovery, of reinvention and of planning for the future. North East Lincolnshire has been the benefactor of some fantastic support to help enrich its own history, heritage and culture, which has supported wider investment through the funding from the Towns Fund, UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Arts Council England
There’s been plenty of work around the subject of heritage, not only through work the Council has led on, but partners and private sector too. Let’s look at some of the projects supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and, of course, those who play the National Lottery:
Work on Grimsby docks, supported by a range of funding sources has led to a raft of improved buildings and new occupation, bringing the port to life with culture and craft as well as coffee and cake! Recipients of Heritage Fund money include the Peterson’s Project, with other funding from Historic England supporting projects throughout the Heritage Action Zone.
Over in Cleethorpes, a £1.9m NLHF supported programme is helping to restore historic balconies and shop fronts on the resort’s historic Alexandra Road. (main picture and above)
But it’s the heart of Grimsby that’s leading the transformation. More than £2m of Heritage Fund money is supporting the new Horizon OnSide Youth Zone project at West Haven Maltings, providing a place for young people in the borough to go, to learn and to play.
And Our Big Picture Limited was supported by Heritage Fund to acquire a Grade 2 listed building on Bethlehem Street. The organisation now has its own space to give North East Lincolnshire communities a chance to explore their heritage and culture.
But it’s not all about buildings!
North East Lincolnshire was selected for a grant as an ‘Area of Focus’ for The National Lottery Heritage Fund due to low heritage investment. This provided opportunity to work with more people across the borough.
The area was awarded £250,000 from the Heritage Fund to create a ‘Heritage Starter Fund’ and establish a Heritage Network. Working in partnership with Heritage Lincolnshire, the aim was to widen audiences for heritage and to ensure that heritage plays a key role in helping communities recover from the impacts of COVID19.
As a result, new events, experiences and activities have been supported and grown from this seed corn investment – from the Grim Falfest for the last two Septembers, to sharing memories of Grimsby Town Football Club and protecting and enhancing iconic buildings like Weelsby Hall.