Dudley Canal Trust (Trips) Limited is celebrating after it was announced that it has won a prestigious Biffa Award Flagship grant. The announcement was made during the Biffa Awards 2014, which took place today at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.
The project to create The Portal, a brand new welcome building and visitor centre is set to receive £500,000 from Biffa Award; a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK. The project was funded under Biffa Award’s ‘Cultural Facilities’ category and will contribute to funding the welcome building and development of an interpretation space.
The Portal building will create a facility for visitors, in keeping with the labyrinth of canal tunnels and magnificent limestone caverns within Castle Hill; a unique gem of the Black Country that is hidden underground and only accessible by boat. The site is of regional, national and international significance for its geology and highlights the industrial history of the canals. An enhanced educational programme will be introduced, to include new opportunities for volunteers and to open up the attraction to wider audiences, including people who may not traditionally visit a heritage site.
The Biffa Award Flagship Scheme supports unique and exciting, regional projects in either the Rebuilding Biodiversity or Cultural Facilities categories. Biffa Award received more than 40 applications for Flagship projects, but The Portal captured the Board’s imagination with their professional approach to managing this project, which will celebrate this unique and exciting part of the Black Country’s heritage.
Gillian French, Biffa Award Programme Manager, said:
“The Flagship Scheme is an opportunity to award funding to projects that have something unique and exciting that no other project can offer. We received more than 40 good quality applications for this year’s Flagship Scheme, but we are delighted for the Dudley Canal Trust (Trips) Limited on their success. Their inspirational Portal project will not only ensure the safeguarding this rich cultural history, but it will create a fantastic resource that will be enjoyed by the local community and visitors alike.”