The community portal site for Downham Market since 2007

Heritage Society wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

Heritage Society wins Heritage Lottery Fund support Downham Market & District Heritage Society has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a Downham Market Heritage and Learning Centre, it was announced today. The project aims to conserve and restore the town’s Old Fire Station as a focal point for the rich heritage of Downham Market and the surrounding area. Development funding of £37,400 has also been awarded to help the Heritage Society progress their plans to apply for a full grant for the £450,000 project early in 2013. The Old Fire Station will become a hub for the community in and around Downham Market, telling the story of the town and district and of the people who have shaped it. It will signpost residents and visitors to heritage sites and collections in the local area as well as showcasing the Society’s collections ranging from prehistoric to the modern day. Opportunities for learning and discovery will be at the heart of the project, including an exciting schools’ programme, themed activities and events and a series of changing exhibitions. The building is a widely recognised landmark within and beyond Downham Market. Converted from a row of workers’ cottages in 1938, it served as an auxiliary fire station until decommissioning in 2006. Conversion will provide space for exhibition and display as well as a flexible learning and meeting area which will be available to community groups. Dave Flower, Chairman of the Heritage Society’s project committee, said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has recognised the importance of this project to Downham Market and the surrounding area. The support of local schools, groups and individuals in getting this far has been tremendous, and we would love the whole community to work with us and our professional team during the development phase.” Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “We are delighted to support Downham Market and District Heritage Society with this award of a first round pass, enabling them to develop their application further. This is an exciting idea and the conversion of the fire station would provide a permanent home for the collections and archives, whilst also acting as a community hub, providing a flexible low-cost space for use by local groups and clubs.” About Downham Market & District Heritage Society
The Heritage Society was founded in 1995 to establish a heritage centre for Downham Market and the surrounding area. It has a membership of more than 100 and 25 volunteers who support the existing heritage centre within Downham Market’s Town Hall. The Society has extensive collections of artefacts, documents and images telling the story of Downham Market and its people. Current activities include work with schools and community groups, a programme of talks and participation in local, regional and national heritage events. Website:



Unlike the other ‘local’ papers which are owned by big businesses, downhamweb has always been owned and run by local people in Downham Market. Our reporting will always be free without paywalls, independent from advertisers and run for the benefit of the community. 

Please consider supporting downhamweb to help us to keep providing this service to the community. If you can, please donate or set up a monthly contribution.