The first of Torbay’s Local Heritage Grants have been awarded to 12 projects in Brixham, Paignton and Torquay. These vary from visitor improvements for the historic Brixham Battery and Torquay Museum, and community projects in Paignton; to literary inspired murals, podcasts, heritage days and innovative projects exploring our geological and wider history across the English Riviera’s UNESCO designated environment.

This is the first round of awards, and a second round will open in early 2024. The new scheme was very popular and it was very competitive. Where an applicant was not successful this time, they have been offered feedback and where appropriate a chance to re-apply, or signposted to other funding sources.

It is thanks to investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund that Torbay Council and partners are able to run this scheme. It includes evaluation and grant advice support – available to any potential applicant before applying; and to give advice after grants are awarded.

Dr Kevin Dixon, Torbay Culture board member and local historian: “These small grants empower communities to identify their own traditions, alongside landscapes and much-loved buildings that were created in our shared past. While residents are encouraged to come forward with innovative ways to recognise and appreciate places of historical importance, the grants further welcome building on what has gone before, to challenge accepted history, and to create new ways of belonging as we celebrate the culture of the Bay.”

Stuart McLeod, Director England - London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “It’s fantastic that the first Local Heritage Grants have been awarded to a great range of projects across Torbay. Investing in heritage means investing in the community it belongs to and thanks to National Lottery players, these projects will enable people to discover the fascinating heritage on their doorstep. They will help to bring people together and create a sense of pride of place, that in turn can deliver wider economic benefits for Torbay.”

Nick Powe, chair of the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark said: “The Geopark organisation congratulates the twelve recipients of the first Torbay’s Local Heritage Grant Scheme. These are innovative projects that will make a difference.  Thanks to the collaboration between Torbay Council, Torbay Culture and the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark, these Heritage Fund grants will open up opportunities for a wide audience to discover the extraordinary heritage of the English Riviera.”

Councillor Adam Billings, Cabinet Member for Pride in Place, Culture and Events, and Parking, said: “There are some superb projects around Torbay to help us all enjoy and honour our rich history and I am delighted to work with our partners at The National Lottery Heritage Fund and English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark to support these schemes.

“We look forward to seeing the next applications in the second round.”

A list of the first round awards is below
Agatha Christie Festival Limited - The Agatha Christie Festival Podcasts - £4,500

All About Agatha is a podcast all about Agatha. Agatha Christie. The Queen of Crime, a real-life Dame of the British Empire and author of sixty-six mystery novels that spanned the Twentieth Century, defining a genre.

Artizan Collective CIC - Geopark Artist Residencies - £5,000

Artizan Collective CIC is a not for profit Social Enterprise dedicated to the advancement of arts and culture in Torbay, supporting wider engagement and greater accessibility to arts for our communities, through the provision of opportunities, resources, spaces and networks for creatives of all practices in a sustainable and resilient manner.

Brixham Battery Heritage Group - Safe and Enhanced Visitor Access Project - £7,500

The Brixham Battery Heritage Group was founded in 1999 by the late Ron Coleman and is a group of volunteers helping to restore the Brixham coastal defence battery built in 1940 and provide on-site information to the general public and other organisations. The group uses the Artillery Training Section (ATS) hut as its education centre and museum after having secured a 25 year lease from Torbay council.

Brixham Future CIC - Brixham Literature and Poetry Trail - £7,000

Founded in 2016, Brixham Future is focused on delivering micro-regeneration projects or events that benefit Brixham and wider Torbay. By working together in this way, we make it possible to improve our town step by step, some times by small steps and sometimes by larger ones. We do this in order to maintain and improve our built heritage and beautiful natural environment.

The Creativity Centre Educational Trust - ‘Walking on Water’ - the History of Fleet Walk - £4,994

Education, training and learning about creative thinking and problem solving. Workshops for school pupils, teachers, charities, community groups and the public.

Christian Creative Network - Art Exhibition of work inspired by Agatha Christie’s life and works - £500

Christian Creative Network UK is committed to building local networks of creatives across the UK. The Torquay branch of the Christian Creative Network has launched an Agatha Christie themed exhibition at The Royal Lyceum Torbay by Unleashed Theatre Company.

Friends of the Churchyard - ‘Parish History Through the Ages’ - £1,240
Gaia Giving CIC - Gaia's Community Garden - £7,360

Gaia Coffee is a thriving community coffee shop that places a strong emphasis on supporting the overall well-being of our diverse community.

Paignton Town & Preston Community Partnership - Connecting with the English Riviera Geopark and Town's Heritage - £5,000

The Paignton Town and Preston Community Partnership provides an opportunity for the local people who live or work in the central area of Paignton or Preston to discuss issues of common concern and influence the way in which services are provided in their area.The Partnership is made up of the Roundham with Hyde Ward and Preston Ward, and is run by residents in partnership with local Councillors, Businesses and Police.It’s about getting local people together to decide what is important to them and what needs improving in their area.

Taleblazers CIC - ‘The Bedrock Project’ - £4,84

Taleblazers is a Community Interest Company that celebrates the stories of Devon and Dartmoor. We do this by researching tales from our region, rewriting them into original works and performing them as ballads or folk poems.

Torquay Museum – Artisans of the Torquay Marble Industry – £7,500
Under our Feet - ‘Under our Feet - A Different Perspective’ - £4,985

Torbay’s Local Heritage Grant Scheme is a collaboration between Torbay Council, Torbay Culture, and the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark – one of Earth’s extraordinary places.

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