Future of Crofton Beam Engines secured thanks to National Lottery Grant

The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust is delighted to announce that it has been awarded more than £½m of National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as the major contribution to an £845,000 project to secure the future of the steam driven Crofton Beam Engines, located at Crofton near Marlborough in Wiltshire.

Thanks to £559,300 made possible by National Lottery players, the project will transform the site

and enable the Trust to tell ‘Our Crofton Story’ explaining how this industrial heritage site comes to be in such a beautiful countryside setting and describing the people and the machines that made building of the Kennet & Avon Canal possible.

The project includes essential restoration and conservation work on the Grade I Listed engines and the buildings in which they are housed. Plans include improvements to visitor facilities, exciting new interpretation of its engineering and social history, and new activities for families. Our aim is to put visitors at the heart of the Crofton story.

This National Lottery award comes following several years of hard work by the volunteer team responsible for putting in the bid. It starts a new phase in the life of Crofton where we will be able to secure this historic site for future generations especially by attracting more volunteers to join in the exciting work and care for such a special place.

Peter Turvey, Chair of the Crofton Branch of the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust, said, “Crofton is an amazing survivor of the Industrial revolution, a stark contrast to its contemporary world of Regency country houses and Jane Austen novels. It is set in a living heritage landscape which has seen the rise, fall and regeneration of England’s canal system. With this grant from the National Lottery we will be able to sustain the legacy of 50 years work by all our heroic volunteers, and ensure future generations can experience the beating heart and steamy breath of the industrial Revolution”.

As well as the major funding from the National Lottery, the project is being supported by generous grants from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Manifold Charitable Trust, the  anner Trust, the Saddlers’ Company, the Wolfson Foundation, The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation, Charles Hayward Foundation & the Bruce Trust.

Crofton has just finished its 2017 season and the site is now closed for the works to begin over the winter in readiness for reopening at Easter 2018. We plan to hold open days during  the winter when visitors can see the work in progress and hear more about our activity plans for the rest of the project. Details will be on our website. If you would like to get involved at Crofton as a volunteer, and help us to develop Our Crofton Story, please contact our Chairman by email to crofton@katrust.org.uk, phone: +44(0)7528 628953 or through the website www.croftonbeamengines.org

Mike Rodd