BRINGING BATA HERITAGE CENTRE BACK FROM THE FLAMES
THE Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has delivered an early Christmas present for the residents of East Tilbury! Thanks to a £65,500 HLF grant, the priceless Bata artefacts which were damaged in a devastating fire earlier this year will be restored during 2018.
The 18-month ‘From the Flames’ project will also see a mobile exhibition developed to continue sharing East Tilbury’s Bata heritage with Thurrock’s community, while the library remains closed. There will be opportunities for local people to help by working with heritage professionals on the restoration and exhibition. This success was supported by a £5,000 Thurrock Voluntary Sector Development Fund grant, a £1,000 personal donation from the Bata family, and 1 Big Storage in East Tilbury who are housing the homeless Bata collection.
Commenting on the award, a delighted Mike Tarbard, Chairman of the Bata Heritage Centre said: ‘When the Heritage Centre went up in smoke, we thought that would be the end of our group. However, we have been overwhelmed and encouraged by the support we have received. Thanks to these supporters and the generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we can now take the first steps in bringing the Bata Heritage Centre back to life.’
Suzie Spence, Grants Officer at HLF said: ‘The industrial and social heritage of Bata in East Tilbury means so much to local people, including the school children who study this history as part of their curriculum. It is living history that communities still identify strongly with. As such, we are delighted to be able to support this project which will reconnect heritage, people and communities in East Tilbury once more whilst the library is rebuilt.’