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Cherished heritage hub nets ‘lifeline’ £70,000 grant

PUBLISHED: 12:26 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:26 13 October 2020

The Pennoyer Centre in Pulham St Mary, near Harleston, has received a grant of £68,700 from the governments Culture Recovery Fund amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Sonya Duncan

The Pennoyer Centre in Pulham St Mary, near Harleston, has received a grant of £68,700 from the governments Culture Recovery Fund amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2016

A jewel in Norfolk’s crown which celebrates the county’s history and forms a crucial community hub has secured a “lifesaving” financial boost.

The Pennoyer Centre in Pulham St Mary, near Harleston, has received a grant of £68,700 from the governments Culture Recovery Fund amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Sonya DuncanThe Pennoyer Centre in Pulham St Mary, near Harleston, has received a grant of £68,700 from the governments Culture Recovery Fund amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Sonya Duncan

The Pennoyer Centre in Pulham St Mary, near Harleston, has received a grant of £68,700 from the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).

It is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country to land funding aimed at helping them through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A total of £103m has been dedicated to the sector, seen as a “lifeline” by venues and sites which faced the threat of permanent closure and having to lay off staff.

The grant for the Pennoyer is set to help preserve its unique building and contribute to the development of a new website providing users with access to an online local history archive.

The Pennoyer Centre in Pulham St Mary, near Harleston, has received a grant of £68,700 from the governments Culture Recovery Fund amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Sonya DuncanThe Pennoyer Centre in Pulham St Mary, near Harleston, has received a grant of £68,700 from the governments Culture Recovery Fund amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Anne Cleveland, chair of trustees for the centre, said: “The Pennoyer Centre is a valuable community hub in the centre of Pulham St Mary which boasts a popular café, offers a varied programme of events and provides jobs for local people.

“This grant comes at a crucial time, as we restructure the way we work to meet the challenges of the pandemic, and helps us to build a secure future for this much-needed facility.”

The Pennoyer Centre was formed back in 2010 following a community-led restoration programme funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The building itself, whose café finally reopened in August once lockdown restrictions were eased, incorporates a medieval Guild Chapel and a Victorian school.

The Pennoyer Centre in Pulham St Mary, near Harleston, has received a grant of £68,700 from the governments Culture Recovery Fund amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: ArchantThe Pennoyer Centre in Pulham St Mary, near Harleston, has received a grant of £68,700 from the governments Culture Recovery Fund amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Archant

It houses a small heritage gallery recording the history of the building, the village and Royal Navy Air Service Pulham - an internationally integral airship station during the First World War.

The centre anticipates that the heritage gallery will reopen in Spring 2021, once work to upgrade the museum and digitise the archive is completed.

Money from the CRF will also be used to fund a redesign of the existing museum to allow safe access for visitors during and after the pandemic, as well as a collaborative community project to commemorate the wartime airships once based in the village.

On Monday, it was announced a total of 22 arts organisations in Norfolk and Waveney would benefit from a £3.2m cash injection from the Culture Recovery Fund.


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