RSA Heritage Network: Suffolk’s Diverse Heritage

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Heritage Futures will be discussing the RSA Heritage Network questions in the context of ‘Suffolk Diverse Heritage‘. Heritage in Suffolk is supported by two key bodies: the Suffolk Strategic Heritage Forum, and the Ipswich Heritage Forum. We will be considering the challenges facing heritage in Suffolk, and what we can do to support, conserve, develop and interpret heritage more widely across the county.

There will be two short presentations: one on The Hold, the new heritage centre for Suffolk (funded by HLF), and the other on museums in Suffolk.

All are welcome.

Carlton Marshes

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Carlton Marshes © David Gill

The Suffolk Wildlife Trust has been awarded over £4 million to enhance Carlton Marshes near Lowestoft through the purchase of a further 348 acres of land. This will include the construction of a new visitor centre that is due to open in 2020. This will form part of the Broads National Park.

The Hold: a new heritage centre for Suffolk

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The Hold © David Gill

The HLF has announced that it will be awarding £10.3 million for the creation of The Hold, a new heritage centre for Suffolk. This will provide a new home for Suffolk’s archives. The project is a collaborative venture between Suffolk County Council and the University of Suffolk. The Hold will be located on the university’s marina campus in Ipswich.

The HLF had earlier awarded Stage 1 funding of £538,100 [details].

An archaeological trench was cut across part of the proposed site in August 2017.

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The Hold, trial trench © David Gill

Releasing the Story of Sutton Hoo

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Sutton Hoo © David Gill

The National Trust has been awarded £1.8 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund to enhance the visitor experience at Sutton Hoo. One of the projects will be to create a 17 m high viewing tower to give some visitors views of the burial ground. Tranmer House, overlooking the cemetery, will be the home for a new interpretative exhibition.

Portencross Castle

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Portencross Castle © David Gill

Portencross Castle is built on the Firth of Clyde and dates back to the 14th century. It faces the islands of Bute and (a little further away) Arran.

The castle was scheduled in 1955. It is now managed by the Friends of Portencross Castle who have been able to open up the castle with the support of HLF and Historic Scotland.

During the Second World War the castle was surveyed by Vere Gordon Childe.

Overseas visitors, heritage and the UK economy

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Durham Cathedral © David Gill

HLF has published a report that demonstrates that overseas visitors to heritage attractions in the UK spent £7.4 billion (“UK PLC: New figures reveal overseas visitors to heritage are driving the UK’s tourism economy“, 24 October 2016). UK domestic overnight visitors spent £4.7 billion, and UK day trips were worth £5.3 billion. Heritage tourism is now worth £2.1 billion to the economy of Scotland.

The information is published in Economic impact of UK heritage tourism economy (2016).

An increase in tourism is likely to be one of the impacts of Brexit making heritage an even greater contributor to the UK economy.

Developments at the Long Shop Museum

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Long Shop Museum, Leiston © David Gill

The Long Shop Museum in Leiston has been awarded £2 million by the HLF (“Long Shop Museum in Leiston awarded lottery grant“, BBC News 19 October 2016). The works were owned by the Garrett family from the 18th century.

The grant is part of a £3 million project to transform the site (“New lease of life for world’s first assembly line“, HLF Press Release 19 October 2016). This will assist with:

Alongside vital repairs, the project will help provide an enhanced visitor experience with new activities: the creation of a reminiscence café, a community hub and a Youth Shed where young people can gain basic engineering skills and find inspiration in the achievements of Richard Garrett, his descendants and those who worked at the site.

New displays will feature the Museum’s own extensive collections – from sickles to steam engines – and draw on the Garrett Archive at Suffolk Record Office to explore the history of industry and science, tell the stories of the workers and reveal more about the lives of the Garrett family – including Elizabeth Garrett who became the first woman in Britain to qualify as a doctor.