Shropshire church's prayers answered with recovery funding
A church has had its funding prayers answered after receiving a £38,000 grant to help with the impact of Covid-19.
St Laurence's Church in Ludlow received the money from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help it open safely for visitors and make itself more resilient in case of future pandemic concerns or an economic downturn.
The funds are also to be used to reach more people in the community as a major events venue and through the use of innovative Augmented Reality technology to expand its education and visitor interest in the heritage to be found in the second biggest parish church in the country.
Since the pandemic and lockdown began, St Laurence’s had to close and has only recently reopened with support of the Heritage Emergency Fund.
Peter Nield, director of finance at St Laurence’s said: “Thanks to the National Lottery and its players we could open safely in August, all be it with some restrictions. We are delighted to receive a grant to help us open up safely this iconic heritage site.
"Free to enter and open to all 365 days a year, we hope our visitors will be inspired by visiting us. Our free new St Laurence's app will make heritage come alive through a camera phone or tablet.
"We are grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us at this crucial time – it’s a lifeline to us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all. We hope this investment will help Ludlow to be a preferred visitor destination from across the Midlands and beyond. The purpose of the funds we have received is that the lottery support will benefit the whole community.”
He added: “As the app is developed further in 2020 we have funding in place to take the technology out of the church and link it to the most important sites of Ludlow. A visitor to the town will be able to learn about the history and heritage of Ludlow in this new and innovative way. The AR will make Ludlow and St Laurence’s a must visit location, helping reboot the local economy, regenerate Ludlow as a preferred tourist destination both regionally and nationally in 2021.”
Ros Kerslake, chief executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefitting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.”
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