23rd April 2018
Port Sunlight River Park has been awarded a £450,000 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant thanks to National Lottery players, its owners the Land Trust announced today.
The Land Trust – Britain’s leading green space management charity, which created the river park on a former landfill site in 2013-14 – said the grant will pay for a new Heritage Visitor Centre and a wide range of activities for the local community.
Euan Hall, chief executive of the Land Trust, explained:
“This fantastic new centre will provide educational activities for people of all ages. The grant will help pay for exhibitions and displays, and it will create a new job for an Education Officer to be based there. There will be a variety of opportunities for people to explore Bromborough’s cultural and natural heritage through archaeological excavation, community history projects, heritage based trails and more.
“The creation of Port Sunlight River Park has already drastically improved the local environment and provided health and lifestyle benefits for tens of thousands of visitors, as well as increasing local business revenues by £86,000 a year. With this new Heritage Visitor Centre and all its surrounding activities, we’ll be able to bring even greater benefits to the local community and the local economy.”
The centre will be managed on behalf of the Land Trust by its partners, social enterprise Big Heritage and North-West charity Autism Together.
Anne Litherland of Autism Together, whose service users help manage the park and are involved in the running of the charity’s nearby Bromborough Pool garden centre and café, said:
“We already have a thriving and inclusive community programme and the new centre will be a great additional resource for everyone who uses Port Sunlight River Park, including local interest groups, park visitors and volunteers with special needs. They’ll be able to learn heritage-related skills, while helping to make new discoveries about Bromborough’s past.”
Dean Paton, Managing Director of Big Heritage, said:
“Big Heritage has been working in Bromborough since 2013, allowing the local community to discover the history of their own doorstep through archaeological excavation.
“We are so proud that this work has become a catalyst for this incredible project which will leave a lasting legacy in the form of even more knowledge about Bromborough Courthouse and the first Heritage Café in Wirral, a fantastic mix of museum, café and activity centre. It’s an exciting time for the area.”
It is a privilege to work for an organisation that puts communities at the heart of its work. The knowledge that I am helping to provide a better environment, especially in areas where open green space is in short supply, is what motivates and inspires me.
Victoria Webbon, Estates Officer
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