Maritime heritage project is ended

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A PROJECT designed to promote Hastings’ maritime heritage has wound down after three years.

The Stade Education Project, run by Hastings Borough Council, was celebrated at the town hall last Tuesday (December 6) when the council chamber was transformed into a giant tea party.

Speakers included project manager Bea Rapley and council leader Jeremy Birch, who thanked volunteers, particularly those that lead guided walks of The Stade and staff at the Fishermen’s Museum, Shipwreck Museum and Fishermen’s Protection Society, for all their support and hard work since 2008.

The Stade Education Project was set up with the aim of encouraging more people to enjoy learning about the maritime heritage of the fishing area in Hastings Old Town called The Stade.

More than 5,000 people were directly involved with the project through walks, talks, workshops, competitions, exhibitions and events.

Alastair Fairley, representing the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) South East England Committee, praised the project’s high level of community engagement.

He said: “Increased funding from lottery ticket sales means that HLF’s own commitment to heritage is able to increase significantly in 2012.

“I very much hope that the success of this project will encourage others involved in this important part of our region’s heritage to come forward with their own projects to sustain this interest and create new opportunities for the public to engage in it.”

Councillor Trevor Webb, the council’s lead member for leisure, said: “It’s sad that this project is coming to an end but I am confident that the projects set up by Bea will continue to run and grow.

“It’s been a phenomenal success and I’d like to thank everyone involved for all their work over the last three years.

“Our heritage here in Hastings is something to be celebrated and it’s wonderful to know that so many people have an even greater knowledge of The Stade and all those who live and work on it.”