News from the Geopark

Torbay's Local Heritage Grant Scheme - first round of grants awarded

18 Sep 2023

The first of Torbay’s Local Heritage Grants have been awarded to 12 projects in Brixham, Paignton and Torquay. These range from visitor improvements for both the historic Brixham Battery and Torquay Museum, and community projects in Paignton; to literary inspired murals, podcasts, heritage days and innovative projects exploring our geological history across the English Riviera’s UNESCO designated environment.

This is the first round of awards, and a second round will open in early 2024. The new scheme was very popular and competitive. Where an applicant was not successful this time, they have been offered feedback and, where appropriate, a chance to re-apply, or signposted to other funding sources.

A decision panel - comprising Steven Chown, Torbay Communities; Dr Kevin Dixon, local historian and board member of Torbay Culture; Lucinda Heron, Torre Abbey Manager and member of the Global Geopark Management Group; Cllr Katya Maddison, Torbay Council; and Summer Clarke and Katie Chivers selected by Torbay Youth Trust - read all applications independently and then met to decide.

It is thanks to investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund that Torbay Council, Torbay Culture, and partners are able to run this scheme. It includes evaluation and grant advice support – available to any potential applicant before applying; and to give advice after grants are awarded.

The first round of projects to receive grants are listed below:

  • Agatha Christie Festival Limited   The Agatha Christie Festival Podcasts - £4,500

  • Artizan Collective CIC - Geopark Artist Residencies - £5,000

  • Brixham Battery Heritage Group - Safe and Enhanced Visitor Access Project - £7,500

  • Brixham Future CIC - Brixham Literature and Poetry Trail - £7,000

  • The Creativity Centre Educational Trust - ‘Walking on Water’ the History of Fleet Walk - £4,994

  • The Christian Creative Network - Art Exhibition of work inspired by Agatha Christie’s life and works - £500

  • Friends of the Churchyard - ‘Parish History Through the Ages’ - £1,240

  • Gaia Giving CIC - Gaia's Community Garden - £7,360

  • Paignton Town & Preston Community Partnership - Connecting with the English Riviera Geopark & Town's Heritage - £5,000

  • Taleblazers CIC - ‘The Bedrock Project’ - £4,840

  • Torquay Museum - Artisans of Torquay’s Marble Industry - £7,500

  • Under our Feet - ‘Under our Feet - A Different Perspective’ - £4,985

Stuart McLeod, Director England - London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “It’s fantastic that the first Local Heritage Grants have been awarded to a great range of projects across Torbay. Investing in heritage means investing in the community it belongs to and thanks to National Lottery players, these projects will enable people to discover the fascinating heritage on their doorstep. They will help to bring people together and create a sense of pride of place, that in turn can deliver wider economic benefits for Torbay.”

Nick Powe, Chair of the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark said: “The Geopark organisation congratulates the twelve recipients of the first Torbay’s Local Heritage Grant Scheme. These are innovative projects that will make a difference.  Thanks to the collaboration between Torbay Council, Torbay Culture and the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark, these Heritage Fund grants will open up opportunities for a wide audience to discover the extraordinary heritage of the English Riviera.”

Councillor Adam Billings, Cabinet Member for Pride in Place, Culture and Events, and Parking, said: “There are some superb projects around Torbay to help us all enjoy and honour our rich history and I am delighted to work with our partners at The National Lottery Heritage Fund and English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark to support these schemes. We look forward to seeing the next applications in the second round.”

Dr Kevin Dixon, Torbay Culture board member and local historian said: These small grants empower communities to identify their own traditions, alongside landscapes and much-loved buildings that were created in our shared past. While residents are encouraged to come forward with innovative ways to recognise and appreciate places of historical importance, the grants further welcome building on what has gone before, to challenge accepted history, and to create new ways of belonging as we celebrate the culture of the Bay.”

Torbay’s local heritage grants scheme is a collaboration between Torbay Council, Torbay Culture, and the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark. It is made possible thanks to investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund