Bassetlaw’s long held ambition to commemorate its rich Pilgrim history is “one step closer” following £45,000 in National Lottery funding support.
Bassetlaw District Council has received initial financial support for an ambitious project which will tell the story of the region’s early Pilgrims who left the district, initially fleeing to Holland, and then making the journey aboard the Mayflower to Plymouth USA in 1620.
The Council and other interested groups have been working towards building a permanent central point for visitors to gather information on the history of the Pilgrims for more than ten years, and now with encouragement from the HLF, the reality of a Pilgrim Roots Gallery at Bassetlaw Museum is within reach.
A project, entitled Pilgrim Roots: The Separatists’ Story, will tell the inspiring tale about William Brewster, William Bradford and other influential pilgrims.
It will relay how their journey in pursuit of tolerance and freedom resonates with similar issues that still exist today.
Bassetlaw District Council deputy leader and cabinet member for Economic Development, Councillor Jo White said: “This is absolutely brilliant news. I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund recognises how important the Pilgrim Roots story is to the area.
“It gives us a platform to build on annual events such as Illuminate and our conference on Religious Tolerance and we are confident that our communities will benefit greatly if we are successful with the full grant application.”
Development funding totalling £45,000 has been awarded by the HLF to help The Council progress their plans to apply for a full grant in 2018.
If successful, the project will see a Pilgrim Roots Gallery being added at Bassetlaw Museum before the 400th anniversary in 2020. A three year Heritage Engagement programme would take place across the Pilgrim Roots region, which covers heritage sites in North Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
Bassetlaw MP John Mann, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Mayflower Pilgrims, said: “Its great news that Heritage Lottery Fund are supporting stage one of the bid. The roots of American democracy are founded in the very heart of Bassetlaw and this is a story that needs to be told.”