We were very fortunate to secure funding from the Langeled Rural Community Development Fund and LEADER+ to provide £15,000 to member churches for items to promote tourism.
We decided that £500 would be the maximum grant per church and grants would be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
We received 62 applications from 47 different churches. We were not able to give grants for repairs to the fabric of the church or for items that had more to do with worship than promoting tourism. For example: we had two applications for votive candle stands, which we had to refuse, and only in one exceptional circumstance did we give money for a church notice board.
The items, which received funding, were tourist: "Norman", "Historic" or "Ancient" church signs; "Church Open" signs; printing of leaflets and booklets giving historical and architectural information about the church and cards and postcards related to the church. We gave grants to purchase display equipment of various kinds, which could be used for exhibitions, displaying notices or leaflets and booklets. Interestingly All Hallows, Goodmanham (pictured above) were provided with audio recording equipment to provide visitors with an audio recording of the history and points of interest in this fantastic Norman church. This project was undertaken as a collaboration with the local Secondary School. We gave the Priory Church of St. Mary at Bridlington money to provide lighting to enhance concerts and architectural features. This forms part of their scheme to develop the Priory as a tourist venue.
The Scheme is now closed as we have committed all our grant funding and the money has to be spent by 31st December 2006.
The Committee think this scheme has been very worthwhile and are grateful to our funders for giving us the money to distribute in this way.