Morecambe Bay Partnership secures £1.9 million for major new initiative to protect and celebrate the Bay’s rich heritage

Communities, natural habitats and historic sites around Morecambe Bay are set to benefit over the next five years, thanks to a £1.9 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The funding has been confirmed for Morecambe Bay Partnership’s Headlands to Headspace scheme, which will support communities to restore, enhance and celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of Morecambe Bay and boost the local economy. 

Projects planned around Morecambe Bay’s stunning coastline and headlands over the next five years include:

-          Connecting and signing 200km of family friendly cycling routes to create a new Bay Cycle Way, stretching from Walney to Glasson.

-          Collecting and sharing stories through oral history projects looking especially at local fishing communities and traditions.

-          A major programme of community archaeology training to unearth our hidden past.

-          Looking after the Bay’s precious natural habitats and tidal islands. Helping to make natural places better connected and better able to resist climate change.

-          Creating unique maps of the area which will open up the Bay to new visitors and explore the richness and variety of our hidden assets and histories.

The £2.9m Headlands to Headspace scheme will run from January 2014, and will be funded by the HLF and contributions from other local and national funding sources.

Susannah Bleakley, Morecambe Bay Partnership’s Executive Director, said: “We are thrilled that the HLF is providing funding for this fantastic scheme, which will greatly benefit local communities and make the Bay area even more vibrant. Morecambe Bay is unique and we want to shout about it and encourage everyone to find out more about it and get involved in looking after it. We believe this exciting scheme will be a catalyst for community renewal and sustainable heritage management.”

Councillor Clare Feeney-Johnson, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member for Environment, said: “Headlands to Headspace is a very exciting initiative which will bring communities closer together and help to safeguard and celebrate the rich heritage around Morecambe Bay. This investment will create a lasting legacy, allowing future generations to fully enjoy this unique environment and will also attract new visitors, which will boost the local economy.”

Sara Hilton, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “Over the past decade, we’ve had great success with our Landscape Partnership schemes, especially in the North West, and many of our most threatened landscapes are already on the road to a more secure future. We are committed to supporting projects such as this one in Morecambe Bay as they bring together both community groups and public bodies with a shared passion of caring for our environment. Today’s HLF investment for this distinctive landscape will not only strengthen those partnerships but also capture the enthusiasm of local communities and help reconnect them with this wonderful slice of the North West’s natural heritage.” 

More information about the projects and how communities can get involved can be found at www.morecambebay.org.uk

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