East Midlands heritage boosted by £3.4million National Lottery grant

Bramcote Church Tower
Three fascinating examples of East Midlands heritage – a town hall, an ancient church tower and a First World War memorial park – are to be re-opened, following restoration projects in which they shared HLF grants totalling £3.4million.

Brackley Town Hall

Brackley Town Hall in Northamptonshire will have a special celebration honouring the re-opening of this 18th-century building. This will follow a two-year transformation in which HLF invested £2million, money raised by National Lottery players.

The town hall was first opened in 1707 and used as a market place for wool and lace merchants. It was on the Historic England At Risk register until Brackley Town Council, backed by the local community, sought National Lottery funding for restoration work that encompassed every stone, timber and roof tile in the Grade II* listed building. The rooftop clock and bells were put back into working order, a lift installed, and new stained glass windows, based on designs chosen from a local competition, have been re-introduced based on an old photograph of the building.

[quote=Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands]"Here we have three wonderful examples of the region’s built and natural heritage re-opening to the public within a few days of each other."[/quote]

Bramcote Old Church Tower

Bramcote Old Church Tower is a Grade II, 13th-century structure and the only surviving part of a Nottinghamshire church, the rest of which was demolished by the Victorians. The building has been saved after volunteers, who rescued the site from neglect 10 years ago, secured a National Lottery grant of more than £414,000.

Vital restoration work has been completed to the building and artefacts housed within it, including a 14th-century alabaster monument and two medieval grave slabs. Utilities and other services have been provided for visitors, plus touch-screen interpretation information.

Grantham's First World War Memorial Park

Residents of Grantham are eagerly awaiting the re-opening of the town’s First World War Memorial Park following National Lottery funding of almost £1million to South Kesteven District Council.

The project included building a visitor centre, refurbishing the park’s Memorial Arch, shelter and model boating lake, new seating, signage, and soft landscaping and tree planting. Interpretation boards will also explain the park’s historical and ecological importance to the one million visitors expected over the next 12 months.

Three great examples of the East Midland's built and natural heritage

Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: "Here we have three wonderful examples of the region’s built and natural heritage re-opening to the public within a few days of each other. All will give great pleasure to local people and visitors alike for many years to come and this has all been made possible, thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players."

Bramcote Church Tower will be officially re-opened on Saturday 8 September by Sir Neil Cossons, former chair of English Heritage and now a trustee of HLF. Wyndham Park’s ‘Dawn of a New Era’ is unveiled on Sunday 9 September; and Brackley Town Hall will be officially re-opened on Tuesday 11 September.

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