Friends of Anfield wins Heritage Lottery Fund support
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded the Friends of Anfield a grant of £8,700 to put in place plans for an exciting longer term project aimed at getting Anfield’s Grade II* listed cemetery off Historic England’s At Risk Register and building an international heritage and visitor centre. The funding will enable us to consult with local residents, take expert advice on our organisational strategy and heritage assets, get training in fundraising and assess the viability of the larger project. The HLF award will also put us in a much stronger position to address our long term plans.
The support from Liverpool City Council and Historic England for our long term plans has taken the cemetery from obscurity and decline back to full prominence within the City.
Our plans compliment the £260m Anfield Project regeneration scheme, with the disused South Chapel becoming an important heritage “Hub”, providing new opportunities for schools, universities, genealogists, local historians, and visitors (including ‘Cruise and Stay’ tourists).
We hope that our championing of heritage-led regeneration will act as a catalyst to encourage and support other local heritage and cultural projects, to help put North Liverpool on the international tourist map in line with Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Status.
In addition to its role as a platform for research, education, and communication, the Hub will be a meeting place for visitors to Anfield Crematorium, where currently there are 38 cremations every week throughout the year, with an average of 40-50 people at each service. These visitors have to wait around, in all weathers, for funeral cars to arrive, and then gather elsewhere to remember their loved ones. The provision of a quality on-site venue will help serve their needs and will have the added advantage of providing employment and volunteering opportunities for the local community.
Anfield Cemetery is not just a cemetery; it is also a huge story book. It is the chosen final destination of 600,000 people (and counting) with untold millions in attendance. Our stories are extraordinary and inspirational, as befits a world class destination. There isn’t a more complete physical narrative for Merseyside’s links with world events than our 142 acres.
It is an amazing testimony to Merseyside’s links to almost every major event down the years including: the Charge of the Light Brigade, Rorke’s Drift, the sinking of the Titanic, Jack the Ripper, our own ‘Chinese Che Guevara’, Liverpool’s last duel, the Slave Trade, the Spanish Armada, Commonwealth War Graves, the American Civil War, the sacking of the White House, murderers and victims, leading industrialists, artists, architects, famous sporting figures, entertainers, religious and political figures, Europeans fleeing persecution, as well as a complete cross section of the social classes.
Commenting on the award, Tom Bradburn said: “Getting support from the Heritage Lottery Fund is brilliant news. It is a clear signal that the difference we want to make in the area is possible. It will widen people’s understanding of what a cemetery can be and add to Anfield’s sense of pride”
Notes to editors
About Friends of Anfield
Friends of Anfield (FOA) registered as a CIO with the Charity Commission on 27th April 2015.
FOA’s Patrons are: Kathy Cowell OBE, Lynette Beardwood, Steve Rotheram MP, the Bishop of Liverpool and Lord David Alton.
We hold general meetings about once every six weeks.
Our Strategy Sub Group plans, directs and assesses our ‘heritage’, ‘reaching out’ and ‘funding’ activities.
We also have ‘Interested Parties’ meetings which include our local councillor, Historic England’s (HE) North West representative, Liverpool City Council’s (LCC) Deputy Director of Development and three members of our Trustees.
LCC have commissioned Hemingway Design to consult with the community and make recommendations about the £260m Anfield Spatial Regeneration Framework. We are part of that process.
LCC put Anfield Cemetery on their Heritage Priority List in 2015 and added £50,000 (approx) to HE’s £250,000 (approx) for the securing of the two huge on site catacomb structures.
LCC paid £10,000 to secure the South Chapel against further deterioration and HE paid £10,000 for a cemetery-wide structures report. Purcell’s report indicated that work on the South Chapel would cost in the region of £700,000 and the whole cemetery, including both catacombs, would be approximately £2.3m.
We believe that people’s innate love of stories underpins multi-billion pound industries. FOA wish to capitalise on this and contribute to Merseyside’s fast growing tourist economy. Here, we will inform, educate and entertain our visitors.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
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. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery