£31.7m National Lottery support for three major heritage projects

Derby Silk Mill seen from the river
Derby Silk Mill

Part of a £98m investment in nine projects across England and Scotland, the significant grants will breathe new life into two of the region’s most historic and noteworthy buildings - Derby Silk Mill, site of the world’s first mechanised factory and Lincoln Cathedral, one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Europe.

A new museum connected to the once mighty Great Central Railway will also be created in Leicester, providing a new home to some of the UK’s most precious locomotives.

The money, which has been raised through the National Lottery, will safeguard the future of the sites, create new exhibitions, pay for a raft of educational activities and bring more objects out on display to better tell the story of their role in the country’s history.

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said: “These are among our biggest grants of the year and it’s rare that we are able to support three high quality projects in the same region. Thanks to National Lottery players, this substantial investment will preserve and give new life to these sites which have been at the centre of some of the key developments in our history.”

This latest investment joins other previously awarded major grants to Nottingham Castle, Lincoln Castle and the Silverstone Racetrack in helping to build a strong tourism offer for the East Midlands and bring new audiences into contact with the region’s past.

Support has been awarded to:

Lincoln Cathedral – earmarked funding of £12,365,800 including a development grant of £909,700
Lincoln Cathedral, one of England’s finest surviving architectural examples of Norman power and dominance, is the only cathedral on Historic England’s Buildings at Risk register.  With HLF’s support, plans for urgent repairs can be progressed along with the creation of a new interpretation centre.  A programme of activities will double current school numbers as well as drawing in a wider and more diverse range of visitors.

Derby Silk Mill – Museum of Making – earmarked funding of £9,387,800 including a development grant of £817,300
Derby Silk Mill is part of the UNESCO Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.  This collective of buildings is on the foundations of the Lombe brothers’ 18th century silk thread factory which introduced the world’s first fully mechanised factory.  Plans include community involvement in the repair, design and re-making of the city’s old industrial museum to showcase how Derby was at the forefront of technical innovation in the 1700s.  Complementary education programmes will be developed to inspire a new generation of young people and a volunteers’ programme will help with skills development.

Main Line Bridging the Nation – Great Central Railway – earmarked funding of £9,999,400 including a development grant of £494,500
The Great Central Railway is set to create a new heritage railway museum in Leicester.  It will house some of the most precious locomotives and rolling stock in the UK as well as artefacts such as posters, badges and the Newton Photographic Collection.  Uniquely, the operational heritage railway will be an integral part of the museum, enabling visitors to make the connection between exhibits and a real piece of living heritage.  The project will build on an already thriving apprenticeship scheme and involve new volunteers.  There will be a complementary outreach programme which includes plans to make contact with the local Asian community which has strong links to the railway.

Further information

Tom Williams, HLF press office, on tel: 020 7591 6056, via email: tom.williams@hlf.org.uk or via out of hours mobile: 07973 613820.

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