Ipswich: Town loses out in lottery race as huge sums awarded to neighbouring Norwich and Cambridge

Christchurch Park was restored thanks to an HLF grant.

Christchurch Park was restored thanks to an HLF grant.

Figures show how Ipswich has missed out in the race for lottery millions – winning only a fraction of the sums awarded to neighbouring Norwich and Cambridge.

Now a leading campaigner seeking funds to help restore the town’s Broomhill pool has called on Heritage Lottery Fund bosses to reverse the town’s lag in the race for lottery funds.

Since the first major lottery funds were distributed in 1995, Ipswich has received £56 million – including £13 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Cambridge has received £119million, including £46million from the HLF and Norwich has received £157million – including £36 million from the HLF.

Norwich also received £32 million from the Millennium Commission to develop The Forum in the heart of the city.

Mark Ling from the Broomhill Pool Trust said he hoped the HLF would provide about £3million to go towards the restoration of the pool.

The HLF is also likely to be asked for a substantial grant to go towards the £10million project to improve and upgrade the town’s High Street Museum.

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And the borough council is currently awaiting a decision on an application for £3.5 million to restore the town’s Holywells Park.

Mr Ling said: “‘Now-rich’ has treble our grants, and they are clearly better at winning public money and winning willing partners.

“We have to ask ourselves why; and what the borough needs to do to not only win a fairer share, but also to work smarter with developers – in partnership – to entice them in.

“Norwich had 20 projects over £1m, including one for £32m for the Millennium Library. Ipswich has just nine grants over £1m.”

A spokeswoman for the HLF said bids were all considered on their own merits – regardless of their location.

She said sometimes bids were more successful if they did not come at the same time as other applications for finance.

Robin Llewellyn, head of the HLF for the east of England, said: “Heritage is about our past, but it is also about our communities today, and our future.

“We offer a range of different grant programmes from £3,000 to over £5million.

“We welcome the opportunity to talk to and support organisations large and small so they can explore the heritage around them and pass that on to future generations.”

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