The National Lottery Heritage Fund has granted a £9.5m Heritage Horizon Award to establish the UK’s first National Marine Park in Plymouth Sound.
The initiative has been made possible after Plymouth was chosen as one of five cities in the UK to be the first recipients of the Heritage Horizon Awards.
Once again well-done Plymouth City Council, this work very much resonates with the efforts of our National Maritime SME Working Group as we seek to establish the Royal Docks London as the World’s Leading Sustainable Dock and the UK’s first The Royal Parks on water, managed by the community of the London Borough of Newham.
The Heritage Horizon Awards were launched in 2019 to support ambitious, innovative and transformational projects that look to revolutionise UK heritage.
It’s hoped that the UK’s first National Marine Park – Plymouth Sound’s ‘Park in the Sea’ – will transform the local community by improving employment opportunities, education, volunteering and environment – ‘re-establishing the bond between people and place’. The money will be spent on a new ‘Welcome Centre’ at the National Marine Aquarium, new accessible facilities and a project working with the Ocean Conservation Trust to explore how seagrass can function as a carbon store.
It is estimated the grant will support the development of 20 new ‘blue’ enterprises and create 464 jobs. A key aim of the project is to tackle and improve the consequences of climate change on the area and its marine life, currently suffering from rise in temperatures, habitat degradation and human disconnection.