National Lottery players boost investment into South East coastal communities

Having fun at the seaside! Children ‘hanging from the guns’ at Newhaven Fort Credit: Wave Leisure
Five coastal projects across the South East have been awarded nearly £2million in grants between them, thanks to National Lottery players.

Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: “This funding, made possible by National Lottery players, will benefit coastal towns all the way from Margate to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, rejuvenating key tourist attractions in the region and providing much needed investment into our coastal communities.”

Margate Caves Project - £1.1m

Thanks to National Lottery players, this two-year project aims to reveal the caves secrets and open up the site for visitors to enjoy once more.

Once the playground of flamboyant local landowner Francis Forster, the caves went on to become a tourist attraction in the late 19th and early 20th centuries before serving as an air raid shelter in the two World Wars.

To be run by volunteer led Margate Caves Community Education Trust (MCCET), the project will conserve the caves and wall paintings, as well as construct a new visitor centre above ground with café, shop and community spaces.

Find out more on the Inside Margate Caves YouTube video.

The Pier’s Tale - £778,400

Run by the Yarmouth Harbour Commissioners, the project will restore the timber structure of the Grade II listed Yarmouth Pier whilst highlighting all aspects of the Pier’s 140-year life, from its construction to the changes all around it and what lies beneath.

The project will be launched at Yarmouth’s Spring Festival on 29 April and includes events and activities throughout the year before the structural work begins in 2018.

As well as carrying out urgent repair works the project will encourage people to engage with the Pier and its constantly changing marine environment.

The renaissance of Newhaven Fort

Lewes District Council aim to unlock the full potential of Newhaven Fort as an asset for the town, a catalyst for regeneration and attraction for visitors. £157,000 has been awarded in development funding to work up plans to restore its historic structure (part of which is on the Heritage at Risk Register), open up inaccessible areas, create new exhibitions and provide volunteering opportunities for the community.

Hidden Hastings Heritage

To be run by Groundwork South and Hastings BC, the Hidden Hastings Heritage project, which has been awarded a £45,300 development grant, aims to reveal the areas rich natural, archaeological and historical heritage, improve the park’s infrastructure, and run activities aimed at people of all ages to bring the stories of the park alive.

The Spirit of the Leas

Folkestone’s popular Coastal Park and historic Leas have been given a £40,300 development grant to work up plans for a project that aims to restore historic paths and structures in the park and wider conservation area around the Grade II listed Leas Cliff Hall, including the promenade and a 1920s subway.

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