D-Day for Hopton ruins

An appeal to breathe fresh life into the burnt out ruins of an 800-year-old Norfolk church is facing an important end of the month deadline.Campaigners in Hopton, near Great Yarmouth, have only six days to send off paperwork to try and trigger a major boost to their plans to re-open the ruins of St Margaret's Church.

An appeal to breathe fresh life into the burnt out ruins of an 800-year-old Norfolk church is facing an important end of the month deadline.

Campaigners in Hopton, near Great Yarmouth, have only six days to send off paperwork to try and trigger a major boost to their plans to re-open the ruins of St Margaret's Church.

If the English Heritage grant is approved it will cover most of the �300,000 needed to stabilise the church ruins.

Once the shell of the grade II listed church is stabilised it is hoped that work can then start on transforming it into a focal point for the village by opening it as a community and arts space.


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To try and make sure that the St Margaret's Church grant application is successful, Yarmouth Borough Council is helping to draw up the English Heritage grant paperwork.

If the application is not successful then the appeal organisers will have to wait another 12 months before they can apply for the bulk of the �300,000 again.

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News of the successful grant bid will be a third cash coup for the village.

On Thursday the village's current St Margaret's Church was given �84,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage for re-roofing, drainage and guttering work.

And in November residents celebrated a �490,000 village hall grant from the National Lottery.

Lenny Gent, chairman of the St Margaret's appeal group, said: “The paperwork is being done by people who are expert in applying for grants. I am quite hopeful of getting it.”

As well as the grant application, villagers and supporters have raised �815 for the appeal by organising a series of fund-raising event's including a race night.

The old St Margaret's Church was built between 1189 and 1250 on ancient leylines used by pilgrims travelling to Cornwall.

It was destroyed by a major fire in 1856.

Last January Hopton Parish Council purchased the church ruins for a pound from the Church of England so it could start its community space plans.

To support the St Margaret's ruins appeal visit www.oldstmargarets.com

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