Tom Keighley

Member Article

First round of lottery fund for Tees project

Kate Culverhouse, Groundwork North East managing director

Groundwork North East has secured a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) earmarked first-round pass of £1.9m.

Including £99,500 of development funding, through its Landscape Partnership programme, the social enterprise will use the grant to work with the community and partner agencies to draw up detailed plans for its River Tees Rediscovered project.

Once complete, Groundwork North East can then apply for the full £1.9m to be approved by HLF, and a further £1.4m could be attracted in match-funding.

The River Tees Rediscovered scheme aims to not only enhance the river environment for residents and visitors, but also help locals to develop new skills and strengthen those communities.

The five-year scheme covers 120 sq kilometres of the River Tees corridor; protecting, preserving and enhancing its unique landscape and driving schemes to allow wider access and enjoyment.

Kate Culverhouse Groundwork North East Managing Director, said: “The River Tees has had a powerful influence on the area’s industrial, physical, and cultural heritage as well as shaping its wildlife landscape.

“This Heritage Lottery funding is crucial to kick-start the partnership’s goal of bringing back in to focus the river’s unique characteristics as well as celebrating its history and helping rekindle a sense of pride in river, its history and surrounding communities.”

Groundwork North East will liaise with farmers and landowners about restoring and renewing natural features and wooded areas and providing new and improved habitats.

Partner organisations comprise the five Tees Valley local authorities, Friends of Tees Heritage Park, Tees Archaeology, Local Access Forums, Tees Valley Rural Community Council, Natural England, Northumbrian Water, the Environment Agency, Canal & River Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Tees Valley Wildlife Trust and Tees Rivers Trust.

Ivor Crowther, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “This Landscape Partnership scheme is particularly inspiring because it recognises the River Tees’ key historical role as a major trade route in the UK.

“The Heritage Lottery Fund’s initial support will help unite a number of organisations who are working together to ensure the area is properly conserved and better understood by its surrounding local communities.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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