Newbiggin Heritage Partnership Lift & Bridge Project at Newbiggin Maritime Centre
To provide a disabled lift to the mezzanine floor and a bridge from the car park to viewing platform to enable full access for all.
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21/05/2013 15:09: Funding boost for ‘Views from Above ‘at Newbiggin Maritime Centre.The community of Newbiggin by the Sea is today celebrating the news that it has received a £60,000 funding boost from SITA Trust to enable everyone to enjoy panoramic views of the bay and every aspect of its magnificently restored lifeboat the Mary Joicey.
Newbiggin by the Sea Heritage Partnership is a group of dedicated volunteers who founded a small Heritage Centre on the promenade over 10 years ago, to celebrate Newbiggin’s long history. Having located Newbiggin’s last all weather lifeboat ‘The Mary Joicey’ derelict in a park in Berkshire, the volunteers began raising funds to have it returned to the village, the partnership then spent 6 years securing funding to replace the small hut with a purpose built Maritime Centre to house the fully restored Mary Joicey. At a critical point in the project some funding was withdrawn because of a delay caused by a land issue. A value engineering exercise had to be carried out to save the whole project, as the time limits from other funding streams were becoming a risk and the construction began. The result being the omission of two features, a bridge to the roof viewing platform and a wheelchair lift to view the Mary Joicey, which were able to be installed at a later date when funding became available.
These omissions meant the Partnership’s aim of a building which was to be 100% accessible, to all visitors would not be realised.
Nearly 2 years since opening, Newbiggin Maritime Centre has achieved many things, more than 50000 visitors, fascinated with the exhibition of Newbiggin by the Sea’s rich heritage, attending free cinema and theatre evenings. Pirate Quests for youngsters, or taking part in the education offers, some just to have a meal or coffee while enjoying the fabulous view from the Breakwater cafe. The Centre has also created 4 full time and 9 part time jobs including training facilities; local enterprise retail opportunities alongside increased visitor numbers to the village have all contributed to the social and physical regeneration of Newbiggin. As a bonus the building itself, has been given an award by the RICS for a significant community building and featured as one of their top 10 new waterside developments in the world alongside commercial buildings in Abu Ahabi, South Africa and Hong Kong. Sheila Harrison, Trustee of Newbiggin Heritage Partnership who is leading the project said “We are so grateful that SITA Trust was able to support us in achieving our aim of having a building which allowed all visitors regardless of their physical abilities to enjoy all aspects of the Maritime Centre. Now that the building is complete the Partnership is able to look forward to developing its next project which will enhance Newbiggin by the Sea as a visitor destination.”