With school visits, arts events and weddings cancelled due to Covid-19, the Springhead Trust has had a very challenging time over the past few months, but a grant from the National Lottery has now set the charity on the road to recovery.
The Heritage Emergency Fund grant will contribute to some of Springhead’s running costs over the coming months. It is also enabling trustees and staff to plan for the future and to carry out some vital surveying of the mill building where damp and a leaking roof are among the risks to the grade ll listed building.
‘Our trustees had already taken a number of measures to safeguard the future of the charity, including furloughing staff, postponing projects such as the development of a field studies classroom, and adapting the regime for maintaining the grounds’ explains Edward Parker, Director of Springhead, ‘but Spring and early Summer is usually the busiest time of year for us, and with income streams lost, the Heritage Fund grant has been essential.’
Trustees and staff are delighted that the National Lottery has recognised the significance of Springhead as an important heritage site. The spring water at Springhead has drawn people to Fontmell Magna since ancient times, and the site is mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086. For centuries the water at Springhead powered corn, cloth and timber mills, and in recent decades the site has been a centre for enjoyment of the arts and rural culture and for education and environmental sustainability.
The funding was awarded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund, which – thanks to players of the National Lottery – is helping charities to address immediate emergency actions and start thinking about recovery.
Plans are now being made for the future of Springhead which recognise its importance for the local community, its place in the local economy and its potential for improving the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged children and other visitors. Meanwhile, with many weekends already booked up for weddings in 2021, and schools keen to return as soon as they are able to, the future is looking brighter.