It’s rather like waiting for your exam results…the decision of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) committee was expected on the 8th December and from lunchtime onwards I anticipated the telephone call from Simon Williams of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council.
Since the round 2 bid for £550,000 was submitted in August, I’ve wondered: Was it a good bid? Did we answer what was needed and provide all the information required? What’s the competition? I was relieved that we had calm weather on the day of the HLF committee member visit in November when the project partners, Weymouth & Portland BC, Dorset Wildlife Trust, World Heritage Team, Dorset County Council project management and Ilchester Estate were out in force to promote the project.
Simon’s call came to whoops of delight, three and a half years of work since we started on the first round HLF bid, and success! Now with over £1m of funding and planning permission we can start the implementation and make the project a reality on the ground. It’s often said that this is where the work really starts and for the design team, led by NVB architects, Brian Bleese, Director of Operations of DWT and David Crudgington, Project Manager of DCC that’s true. It will also be a challenging time for Don Moxom, Angela Thomas and the dedicated volunteers as their existing centre is developed and they integrate with DWT as managers of the Centre.
Visit the HLF website for more details.
For me the essence of my job is done, I will still be involved with liaising with funders and providing guidance whilst undertaking the next challenge!”
Martin Cooke MSc DipM, Director, Heritage & Leisure management
Chesil Project Officer (2007-2010)