Lottery cash gave life to Heugh Gun Battery

John Southcott of the Heugh Gun Battery.

John Southcott of the Heugh Gun Battery.

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ONE of the recipients of National Lottery cash was The Heugh Gun Battery Trust, at the Headland, in Hartlepool, which received £315,000 from the fund in 2006.

The huge cash sum was put into the pot for the restoration of the 19th Century gun battery which attracts up to 10,000 visitors from around the world every year.

And John Southcott, chairman of the Heugh Gun Battery Trust, said without the cash the battery as it is today would not exist.

He told the Mail: “Without that money the only First World War battlefield in the country would have remained derelict, it would not be what it is today.

“This money was vitally important and we’ll be eternally grateful for it.

“I hope that the generations of people who come after us will have a lasting legacy for the town.”

He added: “The Heugh Gun Battery Trust certainly puts Hartlepool on the map.”

The trust began refurbishing the Heugh Gun Battery, on the town’s Headland, in 2000 after the derelict site became a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

The site now boasts 17 artillery pieces, an interactive visitors’ centre, workshop and cafe.

John said staff at the Heugh Battery have welcomed visitors from places such as Middlesex, Cornwall, and Scunthorpe, and as far afield as Orkney and Canada.

Built in 1859, the battery is famous for returning fire when the German Navy bombarded the Hartlepool in 1914.

John added: “Getting the Lottery money was like winning the lottery itself. It was a tremendous feeling.

“We had to jump through a lot of hoops and do a lot of work to show why we needed the money and how it would be spent, and when we got it, it was such a relief.

“The trust has now been preserved for the country.”

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