We are delighted to announce that an application for a Heritage Lottery Fund, has been successful and a grant of £66,300 has been awarded to the owner of The Royal Ordnance Depot. The funding will support the creation of a brand new Visitors Centre and work on the project will commence next month.
Commenting on the award, Michael Chittenden, the sites owner said The site is of national interest and part of Britains cultural heritage so we are delighted to have received the support of the HLF so we can revive and share some of the amazing history the site has to tell. The rejuvenation of historic buildings is crucial to the development of local economies and our aim with this project is to breathe new life back into the site and enhance the neighbourhood by creating new jobs and opportunities for local people. By putting Weedon Bec, firmly on the tourism map for anyone interested in Britains military heritage we further aim to boost the local economy.
The new visitors centre will focus on The Depots rich military history and will provide an exhibition of historic wartime artefacts, audio interviews and recordings from local people and a programme of regular talks and events. There are also exciting plans for a café in a double decker bus, patio area, an exhibition tent and even a green area for a chicken run and a herb garden for producing our very home grown produce.
The remaining structures and buildings once formed part of an extensive military complex purpose built in the early 19th century and located in the Heart of the Country to protect the British Armys supplies from the threat of conflict with Napoleon. The depot featured in all of the major conflicts including WWI and WWII up until the 1960s when it was decommissioned.
The Ordnance Depot Ltd will work with local volunteers and a new member of staff to interpret the sites history and man the visitor centre ready for its official opening in early 2018. We will receive assistance from The East Midlands Oral History Archive to train volunteers to record histories from local people with memories of the site in military use.