Roman Maryport fails in its bid for funding
Last updated at 21:35, Thursday, 14 June 2012
The organisation behind major plans to create a Roman Maryport visitor site has failed to find the £10.7 million required to fund the project.
Hadrian’s Wall Trust will now have to start from scratch to find other funding options.
The project, which aims to bring 50,000 people a year into Maryport, has been plagued by financial problems. It had already been scaled back.
The trust was looking to build the £6.2m first phase of the planned museum and visitor centre complex, but needed to raise a £1m shortfall to qualify for grants from Heritage Lottery and the European Regional Development Fund.
Both funding bodies gave the trust extra time to find the funding, but the grant offers were withdrawn when a final deadline was missed last week.
Michael Baker, project engineer, said the trust still hoped to put in a full planning application to Allerdale council which would remain valid for three years. That would enable the project to go ahead if fortunes changed.
Mr Baker said: “Despite our best efforts over two years, and although we have received significant additional support to get us some way to covering the shortfall, we will now have to restart our efforts to raise the money.
“We remain committed to the project which aims to make a major contribution to regenerating communities in West Cumbria.”
Hugh Thomson, treasurer of the Senhouse Roman Museum Trust, said: “We are surprised and disappointed that the Hadrian’s Wall Trust has not been able to complete the work needed to secure funding for the next stage of the Roman Maryport project.
“More than four years work and approaching £1m in public funding have apparently not been enough to enable the trust (formerly Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Limited) to come up with a feasible development proposal for the Camp Farm site which they acquired in 2008.
“Our commitment to Maryport and its future continues. The internationally important collection established by the Senhouse family remains on public display at the Battery and we will continue to work with Hadrian’s Wall Trust and others to ensure that research and development proceeds on the Camp Farm site.”
The setback will not stop a second archaeological excavation due to start at the Camp Farm site next week.
Although the land is owned by Hadrian’s Wall Trust, the excavations have been fully funded by the Senhouse Museum Trust.
First published at 19:24, Thursday, 14 June 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
@NS: Hadrian's Wall pulls in at present an estimated c.1 million visitors per annum. Whilst Maryport does not have the same ring as say "Vindolnada" or "Housesteads", with proper investment, there is no reason why Maryport could not also become a "Must see" for the region. As an archaeologist who also works in the tourist sector, I can state with confidence, that properly presented, this site could pull a respectable percentage of those who visit the HW WHS. Not saying that the Blues and Harbour festival should not get more funding...but your attitude of "Good" is just childish
Sad to see we did not get the funding, I was looking forward to un-earthing some good Roman relicks. Our luck will change some day. Back go the metal detectors and the wellies.
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