Bridge Cottage, Uckfield, which is to be restored by the Uckfield and District Preservation Society.

Lottery funding of £945,000 earmarked for Bridge Cottage, Uckfield

Lottery funding of nearly £945,000 has been earmarked towards the restoration of Bridge Cottage in Uckfield.

And a grant of £23,300 has also been awarded to help the Uckfield and District Preservation Society progress their plans to apply for the full grant at a later date.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has given initial support for the project and their website gives details of the £944,900 award.

The preservation society says detailed proposals will be considered by the Heritage Lottery Fund at a second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily, and according to the original proposal, the award for the project will be confirmed.

The preservation society aims to refurbish and reconfigure the iconic, timber-framed building.

Once completed it should look much as it did in the 1600s but will benefit from the inclusion of “discreet modern upgrades”.

The project is expected to take about 12 months to complete and will enable the building to host a wide range of community heritage activities.

Activities will include those that utilise the society’s collection of historic local maps, pictures and documents, as well as exhibitions, local history talks, small concerts and fairs.

“It will be an historic meeting place that will allow the growing population of Uckfield to appreciate their local heritage,” says a press release from the preservation society.

Much of the refurbishment work will be undertaken by experts and the development stage funding will help finalise what needs to be done and the associated costs.

Once the main refurbishment work is complete the Heritage Centre will need a range of volunteers to help deliver a range of heritage activities.

Bridge Cottage is a Grade II listed timber-framed Wealden hall house built in 1436 at an important river crossing in the centre of Uckfield.

The preservation society says: “It is a unique example of this type of building being both in public ownership and so complete, including medieval soot on the walls.”

The building was saved from demolition in 1983 through a public fund-raising campaign and has since been used by the local community for craft, artistic and historic activities.

Mick Harker, chairman of the Bridge Cottage committee said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. Bridge Cottage is a wonderful building right in the centre of the town and our plans will enable it to play an important heritage role in the town for the next few hundred years.”

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