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Home Sheerness News Article
The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the start-up grant to the Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust to help with its aim of restoring St Paul’s Church in the grounds.
Ownership of the Grade II* listed building was transferred to The Spitalfields Trust last July and the trust has now been set up dedicated to the specific renovation work.
The overall aim is to restore the church to its former glory for use as a community facility and display area for a model of the historic dockyard.
It is made up of an experienced body of trustees with Jonathan Neame, from Shepherd Neame, and former Vice Lord Lieutenant and former High Sheriff of Kent Richard Oldfield having agreed to be its patrons.
The money will be used to finalise the launch of the trust and allow it to officially take over ownership of the building from Spitalfields.
It will also cover some of the insurance costs and fund a series of community events about the project including sessions with local schools.
Although work has been a bit slow over the last few months, due to English Heritage having to hold back funding because of a nationwide freeze on grants, it is hoped the start-up boost means things can now move forward.
The grant will allow fundraising for the project to properly begin as links with other heritage partners can be strengthened and it also opens the trust’s relationship with the Heritage Lottery Fund, which they hope will be the principal grant-giving body for the restoration.
So far, the building and surrounding landscape have been tidied up and protected and the dangerous weather vane has been removed from the tower and put into storage until the restoration is complete.
Prospective trustee William Palin said: “This is fantastic news for the church restoration project and a tremendous boost.
“The fact that we have been given the maximum allocation represents a huge vote of confidence from the Heritage Lottery Fund – which we hope will continue to support the project as it develops.
“It allows our new trust to start to engage the community in this exciting restoration project.”
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