Jo holds Lottery lunch with heritage community


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Jo is seeking to bring increased Heritage Lottery funding to East Dunbartonshire

 

Members of East Dunbartonshire’s historical and cultural community have been brought together with Heritage Lottery Fund managers in an attempt by Jo Swinson MP to preserve the heritage of East Dunbartonshire.

Held today in Milngavie Enterprise Centre, the lunch was hosted by Jo and Heritage Lottery Fund Manager for Scotland Colin McLean. The group, which comprised East Dunbartonshire Council officials, members of voluntary organisations, societies and local initiatives, were given a talk on how to apply for lottery cash.

A round-table discussion then provided an opportunity for the sharing of information and ideas on protecting the area’s valuable heritage sites.

After the lunch, Jo commented:

“The aim of this event was to promote direct contact between those people who run projects and have local expertise, and those holding the purse strings to lottery cash. By making the process of applying for funding more accessible, we can ensure that East Dunbartonshire receives its fair share of Heritage Lottery Fund grants.

“Total spending on Heritage Lottery Fund awards in East Dunbartonshire is currently just over £10 per person, which compares with a Scottish average of over £84 per person. For the 11 years that the Heritage Lottery Fund has been in existence, there has been less than one application per year from East Dunbartonshire. This is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed.

“From the Antonine Wall to the Forth and Clyde Canal, East Dunbartonshire has several fine examples of heritage sites that must be preserved, protected and presented at their best, for the good of local residents and visitors to the area.”

Funding is available for a wide variety of projects, as Colin McLean, Manager for the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland explains:

“We’re working hard to encourage more groups from East Dunbartonshire to apply for funding. Many people think we’re only interested in museums and old buildings, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Heritage can mean people’s traditions and memories as well as more tangible things like parks, gardens and wildlife.

“We want to make sure that East Dunbartonshire gets its fair share of Lottery money and would encourage anyone who is thinking about starting a heritage project to contact us.”

Anyone looking for further information on applying for Heritage Lottery funding should contact Jo Swinson’s constituency office on 0141 762 2209. The Heritage Lottery Fund website, www.hlf.org.uk, contains examples of successful funding applications.

Since 1994, the Heritage Lottery Fund has allocated over £3bn to restoring and renewing UK heritage sites. Money has been spent on parks and green spaces, historic buildings, museums and libraries, pieces of our industrial, maritime and transport heritage, amongst others.

During 2005-06, the amount of awards planned totals £330 million. The knock-on effects for communities that benefit from Heritage Lottery Fund awards include improved community and tourist facilities, as well as the creation of distinct and inspiring environments in which to live and work.


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