Celebrations after charities receive lottery windfall

Baliffgate Museum, Alnwick.
Baliffgate Museum, Alnwick.

Two charities have secured thousands of pounds of lottery cash to help build financial resilience and increase fund-raising potential.

Alnwick’s Bailiffgate Museum has received £6,500 while the Northumberland Wildlife Trust (NWT) has bagged £9,800.

The money has been awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Catalyst programme.

The scheme is designed to help organisations diversify their income streams, attract significantly more funding by increasing their fund-raising potential and help them to develop and explore innovative approaches to securing private donations.

NWT intends to use the money to help its fund-raising efforts to build a new visitor centre at Hauxley Nature Reserve and the acquisition of land adjacent to the site.

The grant will also enable the Trust to provide training and mentoring for all staff on fund-raising methods, set up a bank of resources to make it easier and quicker for staff to put funding applications together and co-ordinate the fund-raising process effectively.

The Wildlife Trust also plans to introduce new project management software to improve financial control, scheduling of resources and evaluation.

Mike Pratt, NWT chief executive, said: “In such difficult times for all charities, the money from HLF is so very welcome and I cannot stress enough how delighted we are to have received it.”

Representatives from the Bailiffgate Museum are equally pleased to have secured a HLF grant.

Chairman of trustees, Tom Pattinson, said the money would allow the venue to look at innovative ways of securing funding and buy in some expertise to help the museum plan for the future.

Jane Mann, trustee, said: “We have got to look at every opportunity to acquire funding and do it systematically.

“I am very proud that the museum achieved this grant as we know there was great competition across the UK.

“The first step is to appoint a consultant to work with us and help our volunteers learn as much as possible.

“We are particularly interested in recruiting new volunteers who are interested in this area or already have a fund-raising background.”