Lottery asked to support heritage partnership plan

A £2 million bid for funding to protect the heritage of the Dearne Valley has been put forward by a partnership of organisations in South Yorkshire.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has been asked to support a five year plan to restore and protect listed buildings and important environmental sites in the area.

It has been put together by the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP) led by Barnsley Council and supported by Rotherham and Doncaster Council, RSPB, Groundwork South Yorkshire, Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Garganey Trust.

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Councillor Roy Miller, Barnsley Council’s cabinet member for development, environment and culture, said the partnership’s aim was to build on more than ten years of work by the organisations involved to improve the Dearne Valley.

He said: “The DVLP provides a great opportunity to make more people aware of what a great area the Dearne Valley is.

“It has medieval buildings, listed industrial buildings, unexpected wildlife, surprising views and enthusiastic communities.

“The funding will help protect what is there, help people learn more about the area and actively involve the communities of the Dearne in the future of the area.”

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Projects included in the bid is a programme of research into the area’s historic sites by archaeologists.

Money will also be spent on improvements to the Maurice Dobson Museum, Glassby Arch, Hoyland Lowe Stand, Parkhill Nature Reserve.

If successful, money from the bid will also be used to fund the creation of a new series of guided walks across the Dearne Valley area.

And there will be new signs at key points to help visitors find their way around more easily.

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Grants will be made available to community groups who have ideas to improve and protect the local environment.

The latest bid is the second stage in a process started in 2012 when the Heritage Lottery Fund approved an initial application and invited the partnership to do further work in order to secure the money.

If the project receives lottery funding work will begin in July and last for five years.