A cash boost for heritage project

Newbiggin's Rocket House which has been awarded �150,000 lottery funding towards its restoration.
Newbiggin's Rocket House which has been awarded �150,000 lottery funding towards its restoration.

A project to bring a key part of a village’s maritime history back to life has received a cash boost.

Volunteers have been working hard to restore Newbiggin’s Rocket House to its former glory.

Artwork of how Newbiggin's Rocket House looked in the 19th Century.

Artwork of how Newbiggin's Rocket House looked in the 19th Century.

And the 150-year-old building is to benefit from a £153,200 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help secure its future.

It is one of four projects that will share more than £1.3million, the latest round of funding made available.

Ivor Crowther, head of HLF North East, said: “From sea rescue in Newbiggin to ospreys in Kielder, Northumberland has some incredible and varied heritage.

“Community efforts and personal stories play such a vital role in these projects and we’re delighted to support them thanks to National Lottery players.”

Rocket houses were used to store equipment needed when lifeboats could not be deployed – two or four-wheeled carts would haul rescue equipment to the shipwreck including a rocket launcher that fired rocket rescue lines with rope and a breeches buoy.

Newbiggin’s Rocket House, built in 1866, played a vital role in coastal rescue for over a century with generations of families volunteering there until the 1970s.

The Newbiggin Heritage Partnership’s project will see the building saved from deterioration, restored and opened to the public.

Artefacts, film footage and first-hand accounts will tell the story of the rocket house, volunteers and those whose lives were saved.

People of all ages will be able to get involved in marking the Rocket House’s milestone anniversary – volunteers will gain heritage skills, young people will benefit from work placements and educations packs will be created for school children.