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Credit: Colin Wallace Photography

In March of this year the National Lottery Heritage Fund granted an award of £100,000 for the development stage of the project. This was a great step forward as the development phase is, in effect, the preparation phase, after which, if we have met all the requirements of the Heritage Fund, we will hopefully receive a further award.

With the development funding secured, the local Parochial Church Council appointed a project working group to move things forward. This group consists of Father Jim; Sue Stabler, Totnes with Bridgetown PCC Treasurer; Julian Hall, Churchwarden; John Birch, Chairman and Project Leader and Lynne Birch as Trust Secretary. The group has proceeded with the following:

  • Appointment of architect Michael Vaughan of Benjamin & Beauchamp, Architects, Somerset (Michael is currently working on the application to the diocese for a faculty to carry out the works)

  • Appointment of quantity surveyor Mike Kirkham of Kirkham Board, Exeter, who is advising on all the costings in respect of the building works

  • Appointment of Jonathan Cooper, Heating Consultant of BJP of Bristol, advising on the new heating system to be installed as part of the reordering

  • Trial holes to be made in the floor to investigate the current floor structure. This will involve an engineer, an archaeological adviser and a builder.

  • Appointment of Ruth Gofton and John McVerry of Heritage and Community, Exeter who are preparing a comprehensive audience development programme

  • Appointment of Chris Smith, Interpretation Planner of Smith & Jones, Interpretation Planners, Bristol

Meanwhile, the Totnes Heritage Trust is continuing with fund raising. There is still a great deal of hard work ahead to raise the rest of the required funds, through grant applications, through further local appeals and with fund raising commitments from the trust and from the Friends of St Mary’s who have generously committed to raise £10,000 towards the project.

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