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Lottery cash to fund review of tourist hotspot's future

PUBLISHED: 13:13 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:13 22 May 2019

Landguard Fort at Felixstowe Picture: SUPPLIED BY EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

Landguard Fort at Felixstowe Picture: SUPPLIED BY EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

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Felixstowe's Landguard peninsula - which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year to enjoy its heritage attractions and varied landscape - has seen many changes in the past 30 years and now its managers are looking at the challenges ahead.

The Landguard peninusla at Felixstowe - a shingle spit which attracts thousands of migrant birds every year, their first land and feeding place as they arrive from the continent.The Landguard peninusla at Felixstowe - a shingle spit which attracts thousands of migrant birds every year, their first land and feeding place as they arrive from the continent.

Five organisations that care for the heritage, wildlife and natural environment of the site, with East Suffolk Council acting as lead partner, have received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £43,200 for the review, which will get under way in June.

The project will focus on how the nationally-important heritage and natural environment at Landguard can be best managed into the future.

Landguard project officer Paul Grant said: "We want to build on the amazing work that's been done by our dedicated volunteer groups and there are exciting plans and ideas for Landguard's future.

"First, however, we need to make sure we have the right structure and resources in place to make the most of new opportunities.

A re-enactment of the Battle of Landguard - the last place England was invaded - at Armed Forces Day two years ago Picture: ANDY ABBOTTA re-enactment of the Battle of Landguard - the last place England was invaded - at Armed Forces Day two years ago Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

"So it's great that the National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us with a grant from its Resilient Heritage Fund towards shaping our future."

In the past three decades, the Grade 1 listed 18th century fort has been restored and opened to the public, an extensive museum for the town has been created in the monument's Ravelin Block, the port viewpoint has been upgraded and a restaurant opened, and much work has been done to manage the 58-acre nature reserve habitat.

Six years ago plans were revealed for a multi-million pound project to combine Felixstowe Museum and Landguard Fort into one big attraction - with one entrance, accessed from the harbour-side of the fort below the gunpoints looking out to Harwich. The current entrance would then be closed. However, as yet little progress has been made.

Supported through the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the review project will provide training opportunities to ensure trustees and key volunteers are aware of the most up to date best practice so they can confidently develop a shared vision and strategic plan. To inform outcomes workshops, consultations and learning opportunities through visits to similar charity organisations will take place, as well as professional led business and visitor assessments.

This project is a partnership between the organisations that manage the heritage and wildlife assets at Landguard. These are; East Suffolk Council, English Heritage, Landguard Conservation Trust, Felixstowe Museum and the Landguard Fort Trust.

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