February 23, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Over £560,000 for heritage and culture projects across Cornwall from the Shared Prosperity Fund

Photo shows aerial shot of fields with an iron age hillfort in the centre

photo credit Paul Richards

Truro Cathedral, the Old Duchy Palace in Lostwithiel and 13 other historic sites are set to benefit after three organisations successfully bid for support from the Shared Prosperity Fund to ensure these cultural assets can be enjoyed by residents for years to come.

Cornwall Heritage Trust has been awarded £260,634 to grow the charity, expand their outreach programme to schools, youth groups and local communities, and increase volunteer and training opportunities across its 13 historic sites, which include Treffry Viaduct near Luxulyan, Castle an Dinas at St Columb Major and The Hurler Stone Circles near Bodmin Moor.

Cornwall Buildings Preservation Trust will use £188,453 to carry out a programme of works to future-proof Old Duchy Palace, the historically significant Grade 1 Listed Building in the heart of Lostwithiel. It will also grow the capacity of the Trust to take on further projects to rescue Heritage at Risk.

Truro Cathedral will see £112,410 of investment towards restoring St Mary’s Aisle, the oldest part of the cathedral which dates to the 16th century and was part of the original parish church. The project will repair the leaky roof and masonry and refurbish the interior, resulting in a comfortable, welcoming and inspiring space hosting a new programme of year-round activities including children’s shows and arts programming.

Cathy Woolcock, CEO of Cornwall Heritage Trust, said:

“This is a really exciting step forward for us. The work we do to protect Cornwall’s heritage has grown substantially over the last few years and the Shared Prosperity Fund award is a unique opportunity to accelerate that transformation and growth so that we can reinforce our resilience as an organisation. We’ve been championing Cornwall’s heritage for almost 40 years and have evolved so much in that time. We don’t want to just be here in another 40, we want to be thriving, and investment like this in our continued growth is a huge step towards making that possible!”

Photo of a buildings along a road with the historic Old Duchy Palace building on the corner

Photo credit Purcell Architecture Ltd

Kirsty Worden, Chair of Cornwall Buildings Preservation Trust, said:

“We are excited to be working with the Shared Prosperity Fund to make these fundamental improvements to the Old Duchy Palace, which will see it open more extensively at the heart of the bustling town of Lostwithiel. The environmental resilience works and energy efficiency improvements will keep the Palace viable for future use and enjoyment. The proposed virtual tour will allow many more people to experience the Palace and its colourful history. We look forward to working with local contractors, consultants and craftspeople to see this project come to life.”

Photo shows interior of a cathedral

Photo credit LLE Photography

Simon Robinson, Interim Dean of Truro Cathedral, said:

“St Mary’s Aisle is a most precious aspect of Cornwall’s rich heritage – the last physical remnant of the original church that existed centuries before the cathedral was built. In recent years, it has suffered serious water damage due to its worn-out roof. We are extremely grateful to the Shared Prosperity Fund for supporting this project to repair it. Thanks to the Fund, other charitable organisations and generous donations from hundreds of local people, this amazing building will be able to continue to be used as a place of worship and host a wonderful variety of community events for many years to come.”

This latest funding follows previous Shared Prosperity Fund investment in Cornish heritage projects with IntoBodmin (£180,000) and Real Ideas Organisation (£855,451) in Liskeard, both securing funding to transform old Passmore Edwards library buildings into multi-use community spaces. All projects received funding from the Shared Prosperity Fund’s ‘Culture and Heritage-led Regeneration and Skills Programme’, which is focussed on investing in Cornwall’s heritage buildings, cultural assets and landmarks to support the development, preservation and reimagining of our places and buildings.

Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for economy, said:

“We’ve got a wealth of buildings and other assets that reflect our rich and unique culture and heritage. I’m pleased to see investment going towards a variety of amazing projects in all areas of Cornwall making sure they can be enjoyed by new audiences for years to come. The Good Growth Programme is about increasing residents’ sense of pride in where they live, and these latest projects are all contributing to that and ensuring our cultural and creative economy continues to thrive.”

The funding has been received from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which is being delivered by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth programme.

Find out more about the projects in Cornwall that have already received funding, as well as information about open funding opportunities