Are you a passionate lover of your local heritage? Would you be willing to give up some time to protect, preserve and administer that heritage for the benefit of others?
Bordered by the North Sea, Orwell estuary and the Port of Felixstowe the Landguard Peninsula contains a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Scheduled Ancient Monument, Nature Reserve, Bird Observatory, Museum and Grade 1 listed Fort.
Up to now all of these sites have been managed by The Landguard Partnership – a group of interested bodies including Landguard Fort Trust, Landguard Conservation Trust, Felixstowe History and Museum Society, English Heritage and East Suffolk Council
In the past three decades, Landguard Fort has been restored and opened to the public, an extensive museum for the town has been created in the monument’s Ravelin Block, the port viewpoint has been upgraded and a restaurant opened, and much work has been done to manage the 58-acre nature reserve habitat.
Six years ago plans were revealed for a multi-million pound project to combine Felixstowe Museum and Landguard Fort into one big attraction – with one entrance, accessed from the harbour-side of the fort below the gunpoints looking out to Harwich. The current entrance would then be closed. However, as yet little progress has been made.
Most importantly some of the area’s key funding is set to cease in 2022 – including substantial funding from The Port which had agreed a four year extension to their support , and with the area operating under an informal group, obtaining new grants and funding had become increasingly difficult.
Last year The Landguard Partnership received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £43,200 to review the future of the site as a whole , and access ways to take advantage of new and different opportunities which would present a joined up visitor approach and take the area into the increasing challenges of the digital age.
Whilst COVID reduced much activity at Landguard last year, behind the scenes, the organisations that care for Landguard have been zooming away, working together to find the best ways to manage this nationally important place in a new era.
To meet the known and anticipated challenges and opportunities that will come Landguard’s way in the future the partners believe a new Landguard Charitable Trust needs to be established.
The Trust will replace the existing loose partnership structures. Managing the allocation of finance and resources it will take a joined up approach, maximising the benefits the peninsula has to offer.
And it is hoped that having a formal management group will help unlock future cash.
The Landguard partners are seeking an independent Chair and five independent Trustees to form a new Landguard Charitable Trust. The Trust will work to enhance the Landguard Peninsula including heritage, cultural and environmental benefits, and attract additional resources to realise these intentions.
Landguard Project Officer Paul Grant said: “There is a lot going on at Landguard and this is a great opportunity for people with skills, experience, but most importantly the passion to make a difference in shaping and securing Landguard’s future.”
Experience and skills are particularly sought in developing the visitor experience; marketing/ communications/PR; digital/ICT; financial management and control; delivery of large capital projects; building maintenance; understanding of the heritage environment; developing partnerships; managing people; income generation; social enterprise; property law; and risk management.
Chair and Trustee positions are unpaid, but expenses will be available. Applications from people from under-represented groups and young people are particularly welcome.
If you are interested and would like to know more do please get in touch by emailing LandguardEnquiries@eastsuffolk.gov.uk