Open weekend announced for UK’s first marine park

Open weekend announced for UK’s first marine park

Aerial view of Plymouth's coast, with the lighthouse and lido in view
Plymouth Sound National Marine Park has announced details of its first programme of community activities, after receiving £9.5million as part of the Heritage Horizon Awards.

This transformational project aims to create the UK’s first marine park, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. The upcoming programme of activities will engage the whole city and help communities reconnect with the area’s coastal heritage.

We’re thrilled that communities in Plymouth are getting an early chance to be involved in shaping the future of Plymouth Sound National Marine Park

Stuart McLeod, Director of England, London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund

The activities start with an official open weekend at the National Marine Aquarium from 1–3 April 2022.

Plymouth residents will be offered free tickets, and the whole Aquarium will be open for people to explore. A range of events – including talks, interactive workshops, games and immersive virtual reality experiences – will introduce and showcase the National Marine Park.

Visitors will discover more about the project and can have their say on how the National Marine Park will take shape. There will also be opportunities for local businesses, charities and other organisations to showcase their work happening within the park. 

You can find out more by visiting Plymouth Sound National Marine Park’s website.

Aerial view of Plymouth's coastline and docks
Plymouth has rich marine and coastal heritage. Credit: Chris Gorman/Big Ladder Photography.

Stuart McLeod, Director of England, London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We’re thrilled that communities in Plymouth are getting an early chance to be involved in shaping the future of Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. The people of Plymouth are at the heart of this project and thanks to National Lottery players, we are able to fund invaluable projects like these that have a hugely positive social, economic and environmental impact and make these communities better places to live.”  

Other community events planned throughout 2022 include:

  • ‘Sea in the Park’ will take the experience of the National Marine Park to green spaces across Plymouth, through ocean-themed activities
  • a new ‘Give it a Go’ programme will give people the opportunity to try out new water sports and activities for free
  • the installation of new webcams – footage will be viewable on the National Marine Park's website, providing unique views of the park

The Heritage Horizon Awards

We developed the Heritage Horizon Awards to support innovative projects that would transform lives and economies, and revolutionise UK heritage.

Plymouth Sound National Marine Park was one of five projects to be awarded funding in 2021.

People swimming in Plymouth lido
Plymouth Lido. Credit: Chris Gorman/Big Ladder Photography

It aims to improve access to Plymouth’s natural and maritime heritage. People will be able to enjoy the significant benefits of the water by:

  • increasing community connection with the natural environment
  • engaging with sustainability and ocean protection
  • improving the health, wellbeing and resilience of Plymouth’s communities
  • boosting the local economy

Innovative and inspiring projects

Learn more about the Heritage Horizon Awards and the five trailblazing projects we funded. Get inspired and explore some of the other fantastic projects we have funded.

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