Priti visits iconic Layer Marney Tower to see Heritage Fund grants in action
The Witham MP, Priti Patel, visited Layer Marney Tower on Saturday (12th June 2021) for a tour and inspection of new works being carried out on the site using the major funding the Tower has received from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. The Marney Partnership, which maintains the Tower and grounds, received £62,200 this year and follows the grants awarded to them last year of £150,700 and £82,800.
Priti was given a full tour of the building and grounds by Sheila and Nick Charrington, the Trustees of the Layer Marney Partnership, during which she was shown the extensive new works being undertaken using the Culture Recovery funding. A major project to restore the Essex Barn in the Tower’s Courtyard began in 2020 and is due to be completed later this summer. Priti was impressed with the detailed restoration work which has led to the creation of an open space for activities for school children and for holding wedding ceremonies.
Priti said: “These awards are excellent news which give us all a boost as we head into the key summer months. They amply demonstrate the strong cultural heritage we have here in the Witham constituency and I was both delighted and impressed to see that the money has been put to such good use at the Tower. The restoration work is outstanding and a credit to the craftsmen involved. I haven’t visited the Layer Marney Tower for a long time, so it was great to be back here and to catch up with what has being going on in the last few years.
“Like many businesses in this sector, Layer Marney Tower has been hit hard by the pandemic restrictions but I am very pleased to see that it is bouncing back well and I would encourage local people to give it their full support, particularly when the grounds and Tower will be extending their opening days from two to five days per week from 18th July.”
Sheila Charrington said: “We were very pleased to give Priti the tour and to show her the extensive works that have been undertaken since her last visit. There is no doubt that the grants we have received from the Culture Recovery Fund have given us a much-appreciated boost toward our re-opening last month. Our long term aim is to make the Layer Marney Tower self-funding and we are very grateful for the support we have received from Priti over the years, toward reaching this target. We are now open for visits from schools, for whom this is an ideal centre of learning.”
Layer Marney Tower is a Tudor Palace built in the 1520s surrounded by 120 acres of land and is England’s tallest Tudor Gatehouse. It is one of the most iconic and historic buildings in the country. The Tower is among more than 2,700 cultural organisations across the country which have received some £300 million in financial support in the latest round of grants from the Culture Recovery Fund.