16 September 2016
It has been announced that the Parish of Boston has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its ‘Passion for People’ project.
This project will seek to develop St Botolph’s Church as ‘a centre of heritage and cohesion and enable the telling of stories of Boston’s role in local and international history’, while also enriching the life of the community and hopefully encouraging more people to visit the town.
In an announcement made at St Botolph’s Church it was stated that development funding of £160k had been awarded, and that this would be used to develop plans to apply for a full grant of £1.2 million by the end of next year. The total cost of the project will be approximately £2.2 million, half of which will need to be raised by the church in partnership funding, and some of the proposed work will focus on restoration of the west-face of the church tower, porches and underfloor heating.
Speaking about the award, the Revd Alyson Buxton, Team Rector of Boston (pictured below), said “It is fair to say that we are all absolutely delighted that HLF has granted this award; it shows their confidence and commitment to the town of Boston. The enhanced role of St Botolph’s Church is key to the development and enrichment of the town. It is great to know that we are one step closer for us to play our part in realising all our dreams for Boston now and for the years to come.”
Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, was quoted as saying, “For 700 years, St Botolph’s has stood at the heart of Boston, providing a welcoming space for local people as the town witnessed much social, cultural and religious change. Thanks to National Lottery players, this project will capture and share this remarkable story, alongside protecting some of the church’s most at-risk features so it can continue to play this important role for many years to come.”
The Major of Boston, Councillor Stephen Woodliffe (pictured above), called on everyone in the community to get behind the project and to play their part in the work that lies ahead, while the Revd Steve Holt (pictured below) read out a statement from Matt Warman MP that said, “I was delighted to hear that St Botolph’s Stage 1 HLF bid has been successful and will allow the Passion for People project to be further developed. The Stump has always been a beacon of welcome and acceptance in Boston and I am so pleased that the final project, if fully funded, will allow the church to move forward in the interaction and experience it offers to visitors and residents alike.”
In rounding off the announcement, the Revd Aly Buxton paid tribute to the ‘team effort’ that had managed to bring the project to this stage. “We’re all really excited,” she said, “This means so much for the town, and we’re hoping that everyone will get behind it in all sorts of ways.”
From left-right: The Revd Alyson Buxton (Team Rector), the Revd Steve Holt (Associate Rector), Sue Kirk MBE (Churchwarden), Eleanor McEvedy (Architect) and the Mayor of Boston, Councillor Stephen Woodliffe, at the announcement of HLF support for the ‘Passion for People’ project.
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