Region receives a £3m heritage boost



Three jewels in Norfolk's heritage crown are set to shine even brighter after receiving a £3m boost.

Sheringham Museum manager Philip Miles in the attraction's glass viewing tower, outside which it is

Sheringham Museum manager Philip Miles in the attraction's glass viewing tower, outside which it is hoped a new extension will be built. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Wells Maltings, £1,917,600, and The Mo Sheringham Museum, £1,098,700, have each been awarded grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to expand their facilities.

And a restoration project at St Mary the Virgin Church at Banham, near Diss has been given HLF development funding of £24,300.

The Maltings will be using the funding to expand the Granary Theatre, which hosts film screenings and live performances, from 69 to 100 seats as well as carrying out restoration work.

The money will also see a Heritage and Learning Centre built as well as a cafe and shop.

The Mo Museum at Sheringham.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY


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Peter Lynn, Wells Maltings Trust chairman, said: 'We can now go ahead and carry out the work to preserve it for another century and we look forward to hearing from local people interested in getting involved with the exciting events and activities we have planned.'

For The Mo the grant means plans to build a roof extension, which would allow it to safely display the Atlantic 75 lifeboat, can go ahead.

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Simon Holland, chairman of the board of directors at the museum, said: 'We have been working hard for nearly three years on this project and we are all excited at the opportunities that this new space will now bring us.

'We look forward to welcoming our first school groups into the new education centre in 2016 and seeing the Atlantic 75 Lifeboat go on permanent public display, finally completing our unique collection of eight historic Sheringham vessels all preserved under one roof.'

The Banham Parochial Church Council received initial support for its aims to carry out urgent structural repairs to St Mary the Virgin Church, including the tower staircase and buttress, the east chancel window and south aisle rainwater drainage.

Anita Bounds, from the church council, said: 'We are delighted that the HLF has given us this support. This is a huge achievement for Banham.'

The Mo

The Sheringham Museum was set up by Sheringham Town Council and a group of local enthusiasts in 1988. Originally housed in five former fishermen's cottages, the museum featured collections relating to local maritime and social history. In 1999 the museum's then executive committee decided to merge the two elements of the museum collections – maritime and local and social history – in one location, which ended up becoming The Mo, on Sheringham promenade, in 1999. The Mo was originally a house named after Morag, born in 1881, who was a daughter of Sir Thomas Digby Pigott, a member of the Upcher family.

The Wells Maltings

The Maltings used to be one of a number of such buildings in Wells however now it is the only one which retains its original look.

Built in the early 19th century it would have employed more than 50 people at its peak and took advantage of Wells' thriving port to export malt.

In 2010 a trust was set up to oversee its restoration and development. It is a grade II listed building and is situated on the quay in the town's conservation area.

The Maltings's kilns, grain hoppers and roof cowls have been retained and restored to maintain a link back to the site's original function.

St Mary the Virgin Church, Banham

The structure of the church was nearly all built during the first two thirds of the 14th century, during the reigns of the first three King Edwards.

The basic material of the building is the natural flint of the area, with white freestone brought in from Northamptonshire.

St Mary the Virgin was extensively restored in the second half of the 19th century by the then Rector, the Rev JG Fardell.

This restoration included the addition of an interior porch, an ornate font cover and the pitch pine pews which fill the nave.

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