We have received a £250,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to establish a Torbay local heritage small grants scheme.  

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, with an additional £12,500 of funding from us, the Torbay local heritage small grants scheme will support grassroots heritage projects. For example, these could be a proposal by a group of young people that want to buy equipment to create a film about local heritage; or a volunteer group that wants to run a series of talks exploring Torbay’s hidden histories. Maybe a local museum wants to make a special display about untold histories; or a society wants to create a new trail the encourages residents and visitors to see the Bay’s historic environment in a different light.  

The aim of the new scheme is to enable more people to get involved in Torbay’s heritage and celebrate our designation as a UNESECO Global Geopark.

The successful bid was supported by the board of Torbay Culture. The main mission of Torbay Culture is to champion the culture and heritage strategies and strengthen partnerships with organisations like the Heritage Fund.   

The local heritage small grants scheme is an important part of the Torbay Heritage Strategy which sets out how we care for our outstanding historic assets and how we can maximise the potential for heritage to bring social, cultural, and economic benefits to all parts of the Bay.

Capital works underway at key cultural buildings, including Torre Abbey and Paignton Picture House, and the ‘Developing a resilient future for Oldway’ project – which is also benefiting from National Lottery Heritage Funding are demonstrating on a national level the significance of Torbay’s growing heritage offer.

Growing and raising awareness of Torbay’s culture and heritage underpins several key documents including the Torbay Story, the Culture Strategy, the Torbay Heritage Strategy, and the Local Plan – all which have been developed with input from the community.

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said; “Torbay has a fascinating and significant heritage. Heritage isn’t just about looking to the past, preserving, and conserving, it’s about the people and places of today. This funding will allow us to offer more people the opportunity to experience, learn and celebrate what makes Torbay great.”

Jacob Brandon, Chair of Torbay Culture said; “This much appreciated investment from the Heritage Fun is an important part of the collaborative approach Torbay Culture and partners have worked hard to develop in recent years. Working with Torbay Council, we look forward to setting up the small grants scheme to increase access to heritage in the local area and raise awareness of our UNESCO Global Geopark designation.”

Stuart McLeod, Director England – London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said; “Investing in heritage means investing in the community it belongs to, which is why we are proud to support Torbay Council with their local heritage small grants scheme. Thanks to National Lottery players, the scheme will strengthen the community by helping local people better understand the heritage and history and help others discover their own. We’re lucky to have a fascinating heritage on our doorstep and we know it is a great way of bringing people together and creating a sense of pride of place, that in turn can deliver wider economic benefits.”

The scheme will be formally launched and open for funding applications during the summer of 2023 and will continue through 2024/25.

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