Local support will spur on Heritage Lottery funding bid

Wemsfest organisers are looking for funding
Wemsfest organisers are looking for funding
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The WemsFest arts organisation hope it’s ‘third time lucky’ to get a slice of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The second application is to commemorate 400 years of Emsworth and the harbour.

Its aim is to help commemorate Emsworth’s rich maritime history and develop it as a heritage destination.

WemsFest artistic director Mark Ringwood said: ‘We spent more than a year in developing the first submission, but received helpful advice from HLF when it was turned down.

‘Based on the new information, a second submission was made and with a certain degree of irony that too was rejected on the grounds that it contained two particular mini-projects which HLF said were strong’ in the first proposal and should remain in the second submission.

‘It may be a question of third time lucky so we’re busy working towards this.

‘One saving grace is that if we are successful we’ll know in September and that will give us the whole of next winter to finely tune it for launch in the summer of 2017.

‘Of course any rejection is disappointing and we don’t have any given right to be successful but if we are, it will really help the visitor attractiveness of the village without changing the character which makes it so special.

‘We’ve had such massive support from a impressively wide range of people and organisations within Emsworth not to give up.’

Meanwhile the fifth annual WemsFest arts festival will run from September 30 to October 23.

The HLF awards money from The National Lottery to preserve and transform the heritage of the UK through innovative projects that will make a lasting impact on people and places, and bring heritage to life for generations to come.

It supports projects ranging from museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions. Since 1994, HLF has supported just over 35,000 projects allocating more than £5.3bn across the UK.