Benington villagers are jumping for joy at awards success for All Saints

03 May 2013

A community project in rural Lincolnshire to conserve and revitalise an at risk historic church has been awarded significant grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Challenge Fund for Historic Buildings at Risk.

The Heritage Lottery Fund have awarded Benington Community Heritage Trust with a £119,200 development grant in support of their plans to conserve and revitalise the beautiful and much valued Grade I listed medieval church of All Saints . This success follows on from another generous grant made by the Challenge Fund for Historic Buildings at Risk (managed by the Architectural Heritage Fund) which awarded the Trustees £200,000 towards the £1.9 million pound project earlier this year.

The HLF grant will enable detailed planning to take place, essential to successfully achieving the transformation of All Saints into a thriving community hub of learning and engagement which will restore vital village services  to meet 21st Century needs. The site will be known as ‘The Beonna’, a name chosen by the Trustees to reflect the special history of the area.

The Churches Conservation Trust have been supporting and advising the Trustees on the development of a viable and sustainable regeneration proposal for All Saints since 2009. This model of partnership work and community ownership represents one of several projects the CCT is currently working on – in support of local groups - to create a new vision and life for these beautiful community buildings.

Robert Bell, Chairman of Benington Community Heritage Trust said:

‘In recent years Benington Community Heritage Trust has been fortunate to receive support for our project from WREN, English Heritage, the Churches Conservation Trust and the Diocese of Lincoln.  Now the award of these two grants, from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Architectural Heritage Fund, has moved forward significantly the realisation of our goal of conserving and re-opening this wonderful building so that it is accessible to everyone.’

Ian Lush, Chief Executive of the Architectural Heritage Fund said:

‘The Architectural Heritage Fund is pleased to support the project at All Saints, Benington. The partnership between the local community group and experienced organisations such as the Churches Conservation Trust and the Heritage Trust for Lincolnshire is ideal and, in our view, is very likely to lead to a successful outcome for this important building which will be sustainable in the long term’ 

Crispin Truman, Chief Executive of The Churches Conservation Trust said:

‘These generous awards are fantastic news and will help make All Saints into a vibrant community hub and a centre for heritage learning. Benington is an enterprising rural village and this project will deliver real benefits including much needed services, reinstated for this rural community. Since 2009 we have been supporting and advising the BCHT on exploring and developing a new future for their historic church at risk. I hope this project can provide inspiration to other rural communities when they see what can be achieved through a combination of community spirit, partnership and determination.’