Funding Success!

Wells Recreation Ground Trust wins National Lottery support for The Bishop’s Barn in Wells

The Wells Recreation Ground Trust has received £9,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, Visionary Resilience, in Wells. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will complete the next phase of development work required prior to applying for funds to initiate a capital programme of works at The Bishop’s Barn in Wells.

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As part of the project The Wells Recreation Ground Trust will hold two large public events. The first, a Scope and Design event, will be aimed at local organisations and individuals to explore potential uses for the barn and design considerations that may need to be in place to enhance the site as a whole. This event will be supported by Mendip District Council, Historic England and will involve interactive community planning. It is hoped that the event – which will take place in early January – will build on the vast expertise of organisations locally and assist in designing a building that truly responds to community need. The second event will be large fundraising conference which will draw on best practice from across the county – exploring donor development, crowd funding, sponsorship, shares, enterprise based models, working with trusts and foundations and developing collaborative funding bids. Both events will feature guest speakers and highlight best practice across the county. As well as supporting developing a sustainable infrastructure for the barn it is also hoped that these events will further develop some of the collaborative thinking that has evolved through the City’s recent City of Culture bid.

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The project will also involve community consultation with early years groups and teenage groups to see how the barn can help fill potential gaps in Wells.

A key focus of the project will be developing governance and management for the site – looking at a long-term management plan and developing the skills and expertise of trustees to manage an asset of this nature. As part of this trustees and the project team (which includes Somerset Buildings Preservation Trust) will visit several key barns and heritage projects across the South West and develop a network of support of critical friends to the project.

Funding will also support the development of a long-term funding plan for the barn – establishing relationships with other funders.

Cllr John Parham, Chair of the Recreation Ground Trust stated: “The Wells Recreation Ground Trust are delighted to have been awarded this significant funding from the National Lottery. This project represents an important next phase in the development of The Bishop’s Barn and a brilliant opportunity to work alongside a highly respected national funder. We have excellent partnerships in place for the capital phase of work and this funding will ensure we can develop the strongest possible plan for the barn and local community with a visionary but credible and realistic funding and development plan in place.”

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