£10m for Ipswich Heritage Project from HLF

Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, a plan to build an Ipswich Heritage Project for Suffolk can now go ahead. HLF recently awarded £10.3m towards the £20m scheme. Add to that the previous HLF grants, fundraisers and local investment, and the project will begin soon. However, the awareness and fundraising will not end there. Now though, local campaigners will ensure the remainder of the required funds will ensure long-term sustainability of the project. It will begin in the spring and is expected to finish towards the end of 2019.

By Mkonikkara [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

About The Ipswich Heritage Project

But what is the Ipswich heritage project all about? The Suffolk Archives Foundation will see the building of a brand new complex. “The Hold”, as it is called, pays tribute to Ipswich’s maritime history. The complex consists of:

  • A new centre for Suffolk’s historic and cultural archives
  • New teaching facilities for the university allowing it to build its reputation
  • Public spaces to hold events open to the general public
  • An attractive open air venue to encourage visitors

The design has its detractors, described as a “mundane series of boxes” and “lacking style”. However, few people feel the project is unnecessary. Centres this this are springing up all over the country. It’s expected to be a successful collaboration between the council (funding over £5m) the university funding over £1m), the local campaign group and HLF funding to bring together the involved institutions.

Engaging the public in local heritage has proven a positive step for local research and local history. Undoubtedly, this has been a growth area in the last few decades as people seek to understand their family history or what their place of birth or home was like before they were even born. The concept of “citizen science” is also useful for research and local interest.

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