“These grants will ensure that access to this heritage site in the heart of our local community is protected over the foreseeable future."
Finchingfield Guildhall receives recognition as the government awards the heritage site £22,800 to protect its future.
Finchingfield Guildhall has an important place in the heritage of Finchingfield and among the historic Essex Guildhalls. The building was built around 1470 to house a guild of priests and to provide a schoolroom for the boys of the village. The guild room has been used as a place of learning for more than five centuries.
This heritage site, along with many other heritage and cultural sites, has suffered a significant decline in income due to the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
The Finchingfield Guildhall Charitable Organisation will use the money to meet ongoing costs and repairs in order to preserve and maintain the building as a hub for community activities. The funding will also allow the trust to protect the library and museum, support local events and introduce new digital initiatives.
Finchingfield Guildhall is among 162 organisations across all four nations to have received a lifeline grant from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund and among 516 organisations in the Braintree District to have received a grant from the £9.28 million Cash for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund.
Cllr Frankie Ricci, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Tourism at Braintree District Council, said “These grants will ensure that access to this heritage site in the heart of our local community is protected over the foreseeable future. The guildhall is an important place for the people of Finchingfield and is a stimulating heritage based facility open to all which supports tourism and jobs. It’s important that we do as much as we can to make sure that it remains part of our collective future.”
Deborah Sheridan from Finchingfield Guildhall said: “Our income has been hard hit by the financial impact of the pandemic, so this investment is vital and enormously welcome at this critical time. We can now continue to deliver on our charitable objectives, to support the community and to preserve and maintain an important piece of our heritage, at a time when many communities and organisations face difficult challenges. This is our chance to continue on the road to recovery.”