North West charity, Port Sunlight Village Trust (PSVT), has been awarded a Resilient Heritage grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund towards a 12-month project aptly named ‘Brighter Future’.
The funding supports the launch of their first five-year strategic plan, which articulates a dynamic new vision for PSVT and the historic village that it is responsible for.
Supported by the National Lottery, the grant will strengthen PSVT’s income generation potential and facilitate the development of an enhanced and sustainable offer for visitors, village residents and the wider local community. As a result of the project, two new staff posts will also be created including a Volunteer Manager and Fundraising Officer.
The launch of the strategic plan will provide stakeholders with a clear understanding of PSVT’s new direction, which sets the course for a successful, sustainable future for the village, building on the organisation’s successes of previous years. A combination of robust financial planning, diverse income streams, improvements in the quality and scope of the visitor proposition, sustainable conservation, superior conditions for the workforce, and working with and for residents will be the focus over the coming years.
The National Lottery grant represents the first step towards realising the organisation’s new vision for Port Sunlight, ‘to be an inspiring place to live, work and visit’. The objectives are:
- to make the best possible use of PSVT’s heritage assets
- to maximise income potential through fundraising and commercial activity
- to build the capacity of the PSVT workforce and increase skills
Port Sunlight is the UK’s finest example of an industrial worker village and early Garden City planning, attracting 300,000 visitors annually. The village was built to house Lever’s ‘Sunlight Soap’ factory workers, but today is home to a fascinating museum, 900 Grade-II listed buildings, beautiful architecture, a world-class art gallery, 130 acres of stunning parkland and a thriving community.
Paul Harris, Chief Executive of PSVT said they have ambitious plans to secure a sustainable future for the village. He said: "We’re delighted that our future plans have received such an endorsement from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. We know that our plans are ambitious.
"However, this is not a solo undertaking. It is a responsibility and privilege that we share with other Port Sunlight stakeholders. Together we must capitalise on our shared heritage, seize new opportunities, and display some of William Lever’s entrepreneurial drive, flair and imagination to create a homely, inclusive, welcoming village and an internationally renowned, financially successful heritage site.”
For more information about the plans in full, please visit the website.