Two organisations in the Brentwood and Ongar constituency have been awarded grants through the Government’s Heritage Project Funding Scheme.
The Epping and Ongar Railway and the Parochial Church Council of St Thomas of Canterbury in Brentwood have received grants of £98,000 and £107,000 respectively to support their work.
445 organisations across the UK have shared £103 million from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund to help restart vital repair and maintenance work on cherished heritage sites, to keep venues open and to save jobs and livelihoods. Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.
Awarding the grants, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past. This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post covid.”
Brentwood and Ongar MP, Alex Burghart, added: “Both the Epping Ongar Railway and St Thomas’s Church in Brentwood do amazing things for, and within, their communities. The pandemic restrictions have put so many groups and organisations under huge pressure to keep going in the face of adversity, and I am very pleased these two groups have been successful in accessing funding which will help them get through the hardest times.”
For Dean Walton, General Manager of Epping Ongar Railway, the funding has come at a crucial time: “The funding has given us the ability to see beyond our current woes and to face the closed season with confidence that we will come out the other side.”
And Father Mark North, the Vicar of St Thomas's was also pleased with the funding for the Parochial Church Council: "We are delighted to have received support for the vital work that St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Church undertakes as part of the community of Brentwood. This money will be a lifeline in a very difficult year which has seen our income fall significantly due to lockdown measures. Re-opening our work has resulted in additional costs using up our reserves which, without this grant, would have impacted on what we could continue to offer this community over the winter months." ENDS
Pictured: Alex Burghart MP on previous (pre-COVID) visit to the Epping Ongar Railway