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Peterborough heritage sites gets big lottery boost

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Two centres of heritage excellence in Peterborough are celebrating Lottery success after being given £500,000 each to preserve vital parts of their architecture.

Peterborough Cathedral and the John Clare Trust have been given the cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help create high profile fund-raising campaigns for the charities.

The grants involve both institutions match-funding the sum and then investing the £1 million pot and using the interest - thought to be about £60,000 per year - to carry out work in the future.

The cathedral will use the money to carry out work on the Cloister Walls, which are the oldest part of the cathedral grounds.

The walls are about 100 years older than the cathedral building itself, and surround the cloister, which was used as a study and recreational area.

The Very Rev Charles Dean said: “The grant is good news for the Peterborough, as it shows Peterborough is not just a new city but celebrates the history going back to the Bronze Age.

“These walls date back 1,000 years.”

The walls have suffered weather erosion over the centuries, and need stones replacing, weeding and repointing.

The money is part of a major project leading up to the 900th anniversary of the cathedral in 2018. The 900 project is raising money for community projects as well as the restoration and sustaining the structure of the cathedral itself.

Mr Taylor said: “Restoring the wall is a complex job. It is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge, in that it will need continuing work to ensure it stays in good condition.”

The John Clare Trust, based in Helpston, will use the cash to help preserve the John Clare Cottage, and provide educational activities for youngsters visiting the cottage.

The cottage is the former home of John Clare, who known as the peasant poet and is acknowledged as one of the most important historical British poets.

Sara Blair-Manning, the Trust’s chief executive, said: “This will give a large long term financial benefit to the trust.

“We think it will be worth £50,000 to £70,000 every year. If I were to come back in 150 years, the cottage will still be benefitting from the money.
“We applied in January last year, but larger organisations seemed to benefit more than smaller ones, but now there seems to be a focus on smaller sites, which is the way I think it should be.

“This money is vitally important to us. We don’t know what is round the corner, and this gives us a kind of financial security blanket.

“In good years it also gives us additional money to put into our resources for projects and looking after the cottage.”

 

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