Abbey funding set to boost tourism

ET page 2'Crowland Abbey at night
ET page 2'Crowland Abbey at night

Grants totalling £75,000 are hoped to soon have tourists flocking to Crowland to explore “one of England’s best kept secrets”.

Crowland Abbey has been awarded £72,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to improve facilities at the visitor centre.

An additional £3,700 has been donated from South Holland District Council members’ budgets to make up the £75,000 needed to complete the work after a request by Parochial Church Council member Ben Stoker.

Priest-in-charge of the parish of Crowland the Rev Charlie Brown is delighted about the funding.

He said: “Crowland Abbey is massively under visited. It is one of England’s best kept secrets. It is a unique building and deserves to be seen. This grant will help is to attract many more tourists.”

The project includes providing a touch screen computer to which the public will have access and display cases for artefacts.

The abbey, or the parish church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Bartholomew and St Guthlac, is a Grade I listed church of enormous historic, cultural, artistic and spiritual value.

Mr Stoker sold the idea for the additional funding in a letter to district councillors.

He said: “Our aim is to enhance the visitor experience at the abbey by improving our visitor centre with new interpretation (using the latest technologies) and exhibiting artefacts.

“We are working in partnership with The Collection Museum in Lincoln and Dr Rosie Mills of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in order to do this.

“We also aim to encourage and enable more local people to engage with the life of the abbey by forming a welcome team comprising local volunteers to greet, guide and converse with visitors.

“For those who do not live locally but would also like to support the Abbey, we will establish a Friends of Crowland Abbey.”

Coun Paul Pryzszlak said: “The new facilities will hopefully bring a tourism boost.”