Blyth Tall Ship awarded more than £636,000 lottery cash for its next community project

Blyth Tall Ship has been awarded £636,600 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund for its Blyth Heritage Community Response project.

The coastal town is in the top 10 per cent of most deprived areas in the UK, and still suffering from third-generation unemployment following the collapse of the coal and ship building industries.

Like many communities, it has also been impacted by the pandemic but now, thanks to the National Lottery grant, Blyth Tall Ship – which uses maritime heritage and traditional vessels to provide skills training – will be able to fund its latest project.

Hundreds of participants will be able to take part in entry-level group activities to develop their skills and improve their own wellbeing and employability.

Clive Gray, CEO of Blyth Tall Ship.

The new initiative will focus on those who are vulnerable due to lower levels of mental or physical health, the unemployed and those who are directed to the project via the social prescribing initiative.

Clive Gray, CEO of Blyth Tall Ship, said: “The pandemic lockdowns have been particularly tough on the wellbeing of our community and we are delighted to be working with The National Lottery Heritage Fund to expand our Maritime Heritage programmes to deliver these vital new initiatives.

David Renwick of The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “The last couple of years have been tough for numerous heritage organisations.

"Blyth Tall Ship has demonstrated incredible resilience to ensure it has continued serving its community through providing training opportunities and equipping many inhabitants of the coastal town with impressive heritage skills.

A Blyth Tall Ship trainee at work.

“We’re incredibly proud that thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we can support Blyth Tall Ship in the next phase of its journey and ensure that it continues to improve Blyth for all who live and work there.”

Since 2010 Blyth Tall Ship has built a culture of care and transformation for those on the edges of society by employing maritime heritage skills training and working with community volunteers to improve wellbeing and employability.

Blyth Tall Ship has previously delivered several projects with support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund that have resulted in the restoration and preservation of unique heritage vessels, including a 100-year-old tall ship; research into the Northumbrian coastal town’s extensive shipbuilding past; and the provision of numerous paid traineeships in 1800s shipwright skills.