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Cornwall secures lottery funding for Kresen Kernow 

09/05/2013 

An ambitious £15million project to create a state of the art new archive centre in Redruth has taken a major step forward. 

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced that Cornwall Council has been awarded £386,800 to fund the development plans for Kresen Kernow (meaning Cornwall Centre in Cornish) to be created at the former Brewery site in Redruth.

The funding will be used to develop the scheme over the next 18 months with the aim of securing second round funding of over £9m at the end of 2014.

The grant follows a visit to Redruth in April when the HLF trustees saw for themselves the site of the proposed project. They heard how the new archive centre will bring together collections that document Cornwall's heritage in the heart of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, conserving the historic brewery buildings in Redruth and providing improved storage, collections care and access, as well as new exhibition spaces and a learning studio for schools and community groups.

Mayor of Redruth, Judy Davidson, says: “This is a wonderful day for the town. The project gives us all hope for Redruth’s future and we owe a huge vote of thanks to the funders for supporting the plans. The derelict Brewery site is an eyesore at the entrance to this wonderful historic town and the proposals will transform the area for local residents, as well as create a welcoming gateway for the many visitors we receive.”

Cornwall Council has committed £4m towards the scheme and a further £1m towards the acquisition of the site and the public realm works.

Cornwall Council’s Chief Executive, Paul Masters, says: “This is a great day for Cornwall and a great day for Redruth in particular. Culture and heritage are at the heart of the council's economic strategy. By locating Kresen Kernow on the Brewery site our investment will not only provide a sustainable home for these collections but also act as a catalyst for regeneration. The town includes some of the most deprived areas in the country and, if successful, this project has the potential to unlock wider development on the site bringing a further £42.4m of private sector investment into the town."

Kresen Kernow will bring together the collections of Cornwall Record Office, the Cornish Studies Library and Cornwall Historic Environment Record, creating the largest body of material for the study of Cornish archaeology, landscape, history, culture and identity.

Deborah Tritton, Cornwall Council’s Archive Services Manager, says: "We are delighted that we can start to plan a purpose-built new home for these outstanding collections where they can be preserved, used and celebrated. We see the Kresen Kernow building as a hub to connect people with the fascinating stories captured in the sources and are looking forward to working with the HLF, project partners and the public to explore ways in which we can do this."

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, says: “This is a hugely exciting project and one that the Heritage Lottery Fund felt strongly should receive initial support. We loved the strong ‘golden’ thread of Cornish storytelling running through all the plans and look forward to seeing a fully worked-up proposal later on in the year.”

Notes to editors

A first-round pass means the project meets the Heritage Lottery Fund’s criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. Having been awarded a first round pass, the project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award.

Further information

For further information and images or to arrange interviews with supporters of the project including:

  • Judy Davidson, Redruth Town Council
  • Craig Martin, the Headteacher of Redruth School, who has been supportive of the project
  • Cornwall Council Interim Chief Executive Paul Masters

Cornwall Council: Shirley Northey on 018 7232 2187 / 07527 470 453, email: snorthey@cornwall.gov.uk.

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