Inverclyde’s heritage receives £0.25million recovery support from The National Lottery


The National Lottery Heritage Fund has announced that it is investing £250,000 in Inverclyde to help the recovery of the region’s heritage sector. The funding will ensure that the good work being done prior the pandemic, continues – helping aid the region’s economic recovery.

The Watt Institute has been awarded recovery support of £230,000 to explore re-telling the story of Inverclyde’s history through its collections including its links with the transatlantic slave trade, and its links with the sugar and tobacco industries. A new multi-purpose creativity space will also be developed so that more community groups and new audiences can take part in workshops and themed activities safely. Improved digital resources will encourage on-line participation.

Caroline Clark, Director Scotland at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“At a time when museum’s nationally and internationally are rethinking collections in relation to their origins, Inverclyde has an important opportunity to share the role the region played in the slave trade and lead the way in telling its untold stories.

“We are pleased to support this significant work and hope it will help the Watt Institute through this incredibly challenging time. We have had to act quickly to support Scotland’s heritage sector and while we cannot save everyone and we know challenges still lie ahead, we are grateful that, thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to help so many.”

The project is expected to increase local visitors back through the museum doors which had to shut due to the COVID lockdown just months after the completion of a major refurbishment.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s convener of education and communities, said:

“This is a significant investment which will be put to good use to further enhance the offering and experience at the Watt Institution, which reopened just over a year ago after a major £2.1 million refurbishment by the council.

“Central to this funding is allowing us to continue to lead the way in appropriately recognising the area’s links to the transatlantic slave trade in partnership with various groups, agencies and especially the local community.

“Our thanks go to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for recognising the importance of the Watt Institution to Inverclyde and the role it plays in educating, inspiring and engaging with the people of this area and beyond.”

Funding for Digital

The National Lottery Heritage is also supporting important digital development in the region’s heritage sector with funding  for Inverclyde Heritage Network and Greenock Burns Club.

The oldest Burns Club in the world will use a £10,000 grant to tell the story of Robert Burns and share its archive more widely through digital technology. A further £10,000 grant will allow Inverclyde Heritage Network to develop a Digital Heritage hub including digital training opportunities for its 200 volunteer members.

Grants now available

Today’s announcement coincides with The Fund’s phased re-opening of its project funding programme to support organisations through the months ahead. Applications for grants from £3,000 – £10,000 and from £10,000 – £100,000 are now open to provide much-needed financial assistance, particularly to those heritage sector organisations which have, so far, been unable to access COVID-19 emergency funds, and those seeking to re-engage communities in heritage activities.

For further information about applying, please email [email protected].


Inverclyde’s heritage receives £0.25million recovery support from The National Lottery