£250k awarded for new Spalding Town and River partnership scheme

A new project celebrating and promoting the unique heritage of Spalding’s town and riverside has been awarded just under £250,000 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, made possible thanks to National Lottery players.

The project, that emerged from the Spalding Town Centre Improvement Programme, has been developed in partnership between South Holland District Council, Heritage Lincolnshire, Transported Arts, East Mercia Rivers Trust and Lincolnshire County Council, is called Spalding Reconnected: Historic Town & Riverside, and will seek to create and promote several townscape and riverside improvements, together with future funding opportunities all based on Spalding’s heritage.

These include the installation of new waymarkers, signage and trails, community artwork installations, river-based environmental initiatives with schools and developing strategies to achieve more investment for the town centre and riverside in the future.

Funding for the project runs up until April 2024, with the partner organisations working closely with local schools and the wider community, as well as representatives from the public, private and voluntary sector, to help achieve these ambitions.

The aim of the project will be to bring the rich history and heritage of Spalding to life for residents and visitors, using high-quality research and storytelling to provide information and insights about buildings and places throughout the town.

The funding was made possible through matching funding support from South Holland District Council’s existing three-year programme of investment via the Spalding Town Centre Improvement Programme. The Programme has brought partners together to work for the future of the town and to identify and secure much needed additional funding.

The development and delivery of the project is being taken forward in partnership with Heritage Lincolnshire, who will project manage the initiative, with East Mercia Rivers Trust, Transported Arts and Lincolnshire County Council all supporting and providing expertise through their project delivery roles.

Councillor Rodney Grocock, South Holland District Council portfolio holder for Spalding town improvement, welcomed the new funding, saying: “I am really pleased that this exciting new project has received the support of National Lottery players and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, who have recognised the hard work and ambition that have been put into these plans.
“We are surrounded by an incredible amount of fascinating history and heritage in Spalding, and I hope that this will be the start of an important relationship with The National Lottery Heritage Fund, that can help to support bigger and bolder projects for the town centre and
District for many years to come.
“I hope that this initial funding will help more people to learn about the town’s past and to explore and enjoy what it has to offer now, as well as playing a vital part in helping us to secure future investment into South Holland.”

Matt Bentley MSc IHBC, Senior Manager (Conservation and Heritage) for Heritage Lincolnshire, said: “Heritage Lincolnshire are extremely excited to support South Holland District Council in delivering this transformational project for Spalding. The town has an exceptional history and heritage, and this project will not only improve the town visually, but crucially engage more people with the town’s heritage, creating a legacy for the future.”

Dr Ian Marshman, Historic Environment Officer at Lincolnshire County Council said: “Spalding’s riverside is unique, with its wealth of historic buildings and green spaces, it brings nature and heritage right into the town centre.

“Building on the County Council’s recent Extensive Urban Survey of Spalding’s historic environment, we are delighted to be working with our partners on this project.
“This funding will help encourage visitors to explore the town’s heritage, create new habitats for nature, and improve the sustainability of the town centre.”

Nick Jones, Director of Arts Council England-funded Transported Programme hosted by the University of Lincoln said: “Transported are delighted with the news of this much welcomed Lottery funding and excited to be working with the local community and artists to create activities and artworks together that reflect Spalding’s unique heritage.”

Patricia Oliveira Antunes, Welland Project Manager at East Mercia Rivers Trust, said: “We are very excited to be part of this project in the Lower Welland and working closely with partners and the community of Spalding.”