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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.’

Note to Editors

About Bata Heritage Centre

The aim of the Bata Heritage Centre is to present the interesting history of the British Bata Shoe Co Ltd, its important industrial and unique architectural heritage, and the social history of those who worked for the Bata company and the people who lived on the Bata Estate in East Tilbury, Essex.  Until January 2017, the Centre was based within East Tilbury library.  However, a devastating fire has rendered our organisation homeless and we are working with Thurrock Council and other stakeholders in developing plans for a new facility.  We currently focus on our outreach work as part of business as usual.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Mike Tarbard at Bata Heritage Centre on or 01375 677581/07813 165243

Heritage Lottery Funding Approved

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