Grants are crucial to the survival of small heritage organisations

The trustees of a castle run by villagers say they are thrilled to have been awarded a grant that they say will make a different to the its future survival.

Whittington Castle has been awarded a recovery grant of £37,900 from the Heritage Lottery to assist with reopening post Covid.

It currently has its takeway kitchen open and last year held a variety of outdoor events in the summer.

But its income as a wedding and events venue was lost and the preservation trust launched an appeal to held with its upkeep.

Castle manager, Sue Ellis, said the grant was hugely important for the Castle’s survival.

"We are awaiting confirmation of what the grant will cover as monies are restricted to a narrow range of projects specified by the Heritage Lottery. We were able to bid for funds to help with marketing and communication – to get our message out to visitors, improved signage, Covid-related measures and to ensure that our policies and procedures are all in line with government guidelines.

"These are very tense times for small heritage organisations who have to be self-funding, so every penny of the grant will make a difference to our survival."

Oswestry Town Museum has been has been awarded £11,600.

Mark Hignett from the volunteer led museum dedicated to preserving the heritage and history of Oswestry and the surrounding area, said that the award was crucial to plans to re-open to the public in May for what is will be its 10th year.

Mr Hignett is also involved in the Tanat Valley Light Railway in Nant Mawr near Oswestry which received a grant of £5,800.

The railway is a volunteer led charity dedicated to preserving the last remaining section of the ‘Old Potts’ railway line that once ran from Shrewsbury to

Nant Mawr.

"This willallow us to catch up on a missed year of vegetation and line maintenance as well as putting on a special event to publicise our return to being open for the public. It will enable us to clear the line, our nature trails and footpaths of more than a year's growth of vegetation so that members of the public can better enjoy our railway."

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