£1.3m for Northumberland island scheme

Holy Island
Holy Island

A major project on the north Northumberland coast has a landed a £1.3million grant.

The board of Peregrini Lindisfarne is delighted to announce that their revised Landscape Partnership Scheme has been given the seal of approval by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The revised scheme is the product of years of collaborative working between the community and a variety of agencies. The £1.8million project will fund a wide variety of conservation and engagement projects on Holy Island and the adjacent mainland. The board is anticipating the project starting in earnest at the beginning of 2015.

The Peregrini Lindisfarne Board realised soon after the successful submission of the original scheme in 2013 that the required match funding of 25 per cent was no longer attainable and the original scheme was unworkable due to scale and cost. The board is immensely grateful to Northumberland County Council for funding the reworking and re-profiling of the project.

It is felt that the new Peregrini Lindisfarne scheme will ensure the protection and enhancement of the Holy Island and surrounding areas by reconnecting the community’s relationship with the land and seascapes, heritage and history, making the area a better place to work, live and visit.

The accountable body for the delivery of the scheme is the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership and the

board includes representatives of the Holy Island Community (parish council and development trust), Belford and Lowick Parish Councils as well as Natural England, Northumberland County Council, English Heritage and the National Trust.

Coun John Woodman, chairman of the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership, said: “This is an excellent project and it will be good for Holy Island and the surrounding shore side areas as well as much of the wider community of Northumberland.

“The success of this re-submission is testament of all the hard work done by the board and many others over the last three years. We are really looking forward to getting started and seeing positive things happen on the ground.”

Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment at Northumberland County Council, and executive member for the AONB, said: “It’s great news that this project has secured Lottery funding.

“The cultural and natural heritage of the area is very significant to the local communities who live, work and enjoy this part of Northumberland. It’s also an area which is renowned internationally and anything which can be done to preserve and protect our history has to be welcomed.”

Holy Island is known as the Cradle of Christianity with connections to St Aidan, St Cuthbert and the associated monasteries, cells and hermitages and has strong associations with The Golden Age of Northumbria and the Lindisfarne Gospels.

The landscape is rich in biodiversity, including very rare plant species such as the delicate and unique Lindisfarne helleborine, rich wildlife habitats (particularly for migratory and breeding birds) and high geological interest.