Exmoor National Park Authority has secured just under £250,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a wide range of learning, outreach and heritage work connected with Lynton and Lynmouth and the Exmoor National Park based at the Lynmouth Pavilion, which is currently under construction. Together with an additional £50,000 from the Local Authority and the value of voluntary time given to the project, the total funding will have a value of just under £340,000.
Part of this new money will fund two three year posts; a full-time Project Officer and part-time Volunteer Coordinator to work with the local community. This work will include working with schools (including West Exmoor Federation of Primary Schools), colleges (including Ilfracombe and Petroc) and community groups to research the local heritage in collaboration with local societies and heritage groups; a rolling programme of family-friendly event days, evening talks and walks, seaside safaris, woodland rambles, history tours, heritage workshops and specialist days for groups and individuals. A defined area within the interpretive displays on the ground floor will enable people to communicate their own experiences of Lynmouth and Exmoor and there will also be space for temporary exhibitions and smaller displays.
Local societies and heritage groups with an interest in Exmoor will be invited to help deliver an exciting and engaging programme that will offer a whole range of ways of exploring what makes Exmoor such a special place.
Ben Totterdell, the National Park’s Interpretation & Education Manager said: “We are very grateful to HLF for this funding which will enable so many more individuals and organisations to become part of this exciting project to produce displays, films, stories, events and even a mobile phone app that reflect their own experiences and knowledge of the landscape, history and wildlife of both Lynton and Lynmouth and the wider Exmoor Area.
“These materials will in turn help others to enjoy and understand and explore our unique heritage. The project will be based around the Lynmouth Pavilion, which is currently being completely rebuilt, and will help to make the most of what will be an amazing facility for both local people and visitors.”
Work on the new pavilion building is progressing well and it is hoped to have the building ready for use later this year.
Richard Bellamy, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “This is an exciting project that will create a long-lasting and sustainable future for the historic Lynmouth Pavilion and provide a vibrant community space for people to explore and share the history of Lynton, Lynmouth and Exmoor National Park. It’s great to know that volunteers will form a key part of this project and gain valuable skills along the way helping to share their knowledge with the public.”
Commenting, Sir Nick Harvey MP for North Devon, said: “I am very pleased to hear that the Exmoor National Park Authority has secured this significant grant, which will enable them to continue their excellent work promoting Lynton, Lynmouth and Exmoor present and past. I look forward to seeing the dynamic project around Lynmouth Pavilion taking shape so people across the community can celebrate our fantastic heritage here in North Devon.”