The Architectural Heritage Fund is delighted to learn that one of its longest standing supported projects, the Dawe’s Twineworks in West Coker is now on course to being completed, thanks to the significant investment announced by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Built in 1895, Dawe’s Twineworks in South Somerset is the last surviving rural twineworks with original Victorian machinery in the UK.
Since 1996, the Architectural Heritage Fund have provided a number of grants which have been instrumental in getting the project up and levering significant additional grants and donations from a wide range of funders including the Arts Council, the Hedley Trust, Somerset County Council, the Association for Industrial Archaeology, the South West Museum Development Programme and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The project was originally conceived and developed under the auspices of the Industrial Buildings Preservation Trust supported by South Somerset District Council who received grants totalling just over £11,000. The project is now managed by the locally based, Coker Rope and Sail Trust who received a Challenge Fund Grant in February 2014 of £180,000 supported by Historic England and Andrew Loyd Webber Foundation.
Chairman, Mr Ross Aitken said, ‘This latest grant of £404,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund will mean that the former Twineworks will again become a working factory. We are grateful to the support from the Architectural Heritage Fund who were with us at the start. Their grant launched the whole Dawe's restoration. It made it possible to get other grants; it made it possible to start to reverse the dereliction, and it made it possible to start on the machinery restoration.’
Chief Executive, Ian Morrison said, ‘This is fantastic news for the team at Dawe’s Twineworks and the community who have worked incredibly hard to preserve an important part of our heritage and create a valuable community space. This project is a great example of how the AHF supports people right at the beginning of their journey to rescue, restore and regenerate vulnerable historic buildings to have a use for future generations.
‘We are proud to have been part of that journey and wish the Coker Rope and Sail Trust every success in completing their project.’