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26th February 2024

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded Hull City Council £250,000 to greatly expand community engagement around the South Blockhouse, a nationally significant scheduled ancient monument in Hull.

As well as providing new opportunities for people to learn all about the heritage of the South Blockhouse site, the funding will give local communities a strong voice in shaping how the history of the site is told when the new visitor attraction opens later this year.

The community engagement programme will build on work already being delivered by the South Blockhouse Project, by involving a broad range of communities in heritage activities, including: economically disadvantaged people; children and young people; women and families; diverse ethnic communities in Hull; SEND (people with special educational needs and disability); and socially isolated individuals.

Last year's activities at the Festival of Archaeology

Located on the east bank of the River Hull, the South Blockhouse is a Scheduled Ancient Monument of both national and local importance, with a rare cloverleaf design. Its construction was ordered by Henry VIII in 1541 to support military campaigns and to protect Hull as a vital port from internal and external threats, working as one element in a larger scheme of state-of-the art defences on the east side of the river. Its remains have lain buried since the middle of the nineteenth century.

Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration & Housing, said: “We are incredibly excited about the plans to improve the city's historic monument, and delighted to have been awarded this support thanks to National Lottery players, to develop them further.

“Bringing communities together will continue to play a big role in the project, making sure they are part of the journey with a lasting contribution.

“The funding will enable Hull Maritime to significantly expand the involvement of our diverse communities in the shaping and delivery of the South Blockhouse Project, putting local people at the heart, allowing us to capture voices and stories that might otherwise remain unheard.

"This is all about creating a visitor attraction to raise awareness of the site in an accessible and innovative way that shows off our rich stories to everyone near and far.”

Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “It is fantastic news that we’re able to support the South Blockhouse project, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

“This exciting activity programme will mean more local people can learn about the site’s fascinating history, have their say on how its story is told and connect further with Hull’s rich maritime heritage.”

The National Lottery project will run alongside the existing £1.25m South Blockhouse Project, which has National Highways funding to develop a new South Blockhouse visitor attraction as part of the Hull Maritime heritage trail.