North East Lincolnshire Council has secured a £27K grant to install a permanent pilgrim exhibition at Immingham Museum to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower.
The funding has been awarded from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) through a LEADER project designed to support cultural and heritage activity in rural areas, along with a 20 per cent match fund from Associated British Ports.
Next year marks the 400-year anniversary of the Mayflower’s journey to the new world presenting Immingham with a unique opportunity to maximise its visitor offer from late 2019 when the national and international commemorations begin.
The funding will enable Immingham to create a new permanent exhibition in its museum, along with the creation of a heritage trail and a dedicated website to support the town’s heritage offer to visitors centred on the Pilgrims who sailed on the Mayflower ship in 1620.
The pilgrim exhibition will tell the story of the Pilgrims and the role the town played in their escape in 1608.
The funding will also contribute to:
- A new interactive touch table allowing visitors to follow their journey as they travelled from Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire to the rendezvous point near Immingham
- A display of pilgrims in period costumes
- A heritage trail linking four key locations in Immingham to the Pilgrim story to encourage people to connect with the town and discover key historical facts through signage
- The development of a new website so the heritage story can be shared digitally
- The support of a heritage expert to research and curate the exhibition, heritage trail boards and website content
Councillor Callum Procter, portfolio holder for tourism, heritage and culture, said: “The national Mayflower 400 commemoration is a unique opportunity for Immingham to draw visitors to the town by showcasing its involvement in this momentous story, and taking its rightful place alongside the other eleven locations involved in this shared history.
“We have the prospect of attracting visitors from as far afield as America as they come to England to discover their Mayflower and pilgrim roots.
“The visitor experience will be greatly improved by the installation of the new exhibition and the new heritage trail, attracting many new visitors to our area.
“This project will create a lasting legacy beyond the 2020 commemoration year and is expected to have a positive impact on the local economy as visitors are likely to stay over or visit for the day and spend in the local area.”
Dafydd Williams, head of corporate affairs for Associated British Ports, said: “We are delighted to be giving our support to this project.
“It seems entirely appropriate that we should be helping the local community to celebrate the town’s significant role in such an important moment in history.”
Malcolm Cullum, chair of trustees at Immingham Museum, added: “We are delighted to hear this news. Immingham is very much part of the Pilgrim Father’s story and the town is very proud of its heritage.
“To enable us to create a new and exciting exhibition to tell the story for both locals and visitors alike will be such a boost for the museum and we extend our thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen.”
A formal launch event to open the museum’s new exhibition and a commemorative walk to launch the heritage trail is planned for late autumn.
Further information will be provided when the project officially starts later in the year.