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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.89

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Bees, Boats and Trains projects scoop three Lottery awards

Three projects funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) won first prize at the National Lottery Awards. The winners were announced at a special star-studded event, broadcast live on BBC One from London's Roundhouse. 


The winning projects were chosen by a public vote which took place earlier this summer, HLF’s winning projects were:

Best Education Project
Winner - HMS Cavalier HLF grant of £1,156,000

HMS Cavalier was the Royal Navy's last operational World War II destroyer and until 1999, was gently rotting in a dry dock on Tyneside. The ship was acquired for preservation and display at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham as the National Destroyer Memorial dedicated to the 143 British Destroyers and 11,000 sailors lost at sea during the Second World War. Now restored, HMS Cavalier is a major heritage attraction and the focus of a range of educational programmes aimed at engaging children and young people of all ages, with a strong focus on working with under-achieving students.

Best Environment Project
Winner - Bumblebee Conservation Trust – HLF grant of £49,900
Based at Stirling University, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust was founded in 2006 to raise awareness about the decline of bumblebees and the consequences for our countryside and food security. Set up with Lottery funding to cover running and staff costs, the Trust has grown rapidly in the last four years. It now has over 6,000 members and works with the public, farmers and land managers right across the UK to prevent further declines and to preserve bumblebee populations for future generations.

Best Heritage Project
Winner - Isle of Wight Railway Restoration – HLF grant of £489,000
In the early 20th century, when steam trains were made redundant on the Isle of Wight, locals took the carriages and turned them into garden sheds and chicken houses and the Isle of Wight Railway Company's special projects team had to rescue them for restoration to take place. Thanks to HLF funding, the workshop is now fully equipped and several people have been employed to work on the project, training people in the skills of crafts such as upholstery, glazing metal and woodwork. Older workers are able to pass on their rare skills to younger carriage restorers, saving the railway heritage for future generations. The project has restored Victorian and Edwardian passenger carriages and goods wagons, enabling people to take a trip back in time. The project also involved local people in the restoration and educational aspects of the railway.

The National Lottery Awards also put on a showstopping performance which featured performers from various lottery funded projects from across the country, including fiddlers from the HLF supported Feisean nan Gaidheal. They received a grant of £50,000 from HLF for a project working with six community based groups across Scotland enabling young people to collect, understand and present their local Gaelic oral heritage to their peers and wider communities.

The National Lottery Awards are an annual search to find the UK's favourite Lottery-funded projects. Lottery players raise £25 million a week for projects all across the UK. The Awards highlight how that funding has changed people’s lives in the UK for the better.