The racing pensioner and the battle-scarred veteran

By | Category: Travel news

HMS Caroline (January 2012)

The announcement by the Heritage Lottery Fund of £68 million in support of just six projects today gives an indication of how important these are. Usually many more than six are allotted funds and few are allotted as much as has been given today.
Silverstone – the home of so many formula one and other races – might be on everybody’s list of bodies needing funding. But it does show that Fund is not just highbrow heritage in its support but looks at all that make up our changing lives.
Silverstone held its first ever world championship over 60 years ago but its first ever race was 65 years ago this year. This old-age pensioner is the only racing circuit in the world that is run by a not-for-profit organisation. The £9.1 million funding will help house the archives that have been built up over the years and make them available to a wider audience.
CD-Traveller has written before of HMS Caroline, the sole surviving naval vessel from the Battle of Jutland in WWI which is moored in Belfast. There has been much debate on how the ship would be preserved in the future and whether it would even stay in Belfast. The grant of £12.2 million will allow the ship to become a visitor attraction which, with the Titanic Experience just a little further along the road, and the big yellow Harland & Wolff crane across the way, will create almost a marine heritage quarter in Belfast quite unlike any other. With luck the conversion of HMS Caroline will be complete for the 2016 centenary of the battle at which the Queen’s father served.
Substantial funding – £9.8 million – goes to Cornwall where £16.8 million goes to create a new archive centre to bring together the heritage of the county at the UNESCO World Heritage Site centred on Redruth. Called Kreson Kernow, not for the first time, money for what will become a tourist draw, is being used for economic regeneration.
But the largest funding, £16.8 million, goes to the well-known London landmark often called Ally Pally. Alexandra Palace opened in 1873 but it more often associated with a later era = the beginning of television as the BBC began regular broadcasting from here in 1936. Now used for exhibitions, weddings and product launches, the building is need of a deal of repair so the money will secure the building and create apprenticeships, something that the Heritage Lottery Fund has been careful to nurture in its allotment of monies over the years.
Two other buildings share £20 million equally between them. In Aberdeen, the Art Gallery will use its £10 million to link three a-listed buildings and create a new rooftop gallery. For those of you that don’t know this gallery, you might be surprised by its contents. Yes it has a usual collection of Victorian paintings and impressionists as most UK galleries seem to have but it also houses works by modern artists such as Frances Bacon, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Alison Watt and Gavin Turk. No wonder 200,000 people visit it each year.
The final £10 million goes to the 800 year old Auckland Castle, which outside its home in the north east isn’t very widely known. The castle and its collection of paintings was put into trust just two years ago. This money will see the building fully restored and open to the public.

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