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Heritage Lottery Fund grant secured for Magna Carta Anniversary Plans
Posted By : Roz Mitchell Tuesday 30th September 2014
Salisbury Cathedral, home to the finest of the four surviving original Magna Carta, is delighted to have been awarded £415,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help it celebrate the UNESCO listed document’s 800th anniversary in 2015.
The project, Engaging with the Magna Carta, will see the complete re-display and re-presentation of the Cathedral’s Magna Carta in its Chapter House alongside other documents from the Cathedral’s extensive archive. Using displays, media, interactive stations and film, this permanent exhibition, to open in February 2015 will tell the story of how Magna Carta came about and explore its lasting legacy, encouraging the many visitors to consider its enduring relevance to our rights and responsibilities today.
In addition Salisbury Cathedral’s programme will include a broad range of community engagement activities ranging from learning opportunities to specifically targeted initiatives such as an art project with men from Erlestoke Prison. The Cathedral’s celebrations will also feature events including lectures, musical and theatrical performances, light-based contemporary art installations and a city-wide ‘Baron’s Trail’ in partnership with the Trussell Trust. The central weekend of 13-15 June will feature a concert performance of a brand new, Magna Carta based, musical commission by Tarik O’Regan, as well as a giant ‘Liber-Tea’ Party and community activities in the Cathedral and Close. The ‘Magna Flora’ Flower Festival from 15-20 September forms the climax of the celebrations with arrangements inspired by Magna Carta and its legacy.
Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Our history and heritage is rich and deep, defining us to the rest of the world. Magna Carta is one of its cornerstones so it seems absolutely right that next year, its 800th anniversary, should see special efforts made to present it in a new and compelling way to the public, young and old. The HLF support for this project is timely and a fine example of how Lottery money can be used to help mark the anniversaries that make us proud as a nation.”
The Very Revd June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury said: “We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable us to fulfill our ambitions to share the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in 2015 with the widest possible audience. As we reflect on the sealing of this milestone in human rights, we hope to help people to engage on a personal level with the values it represents and its lasting legacy of equality and justice. The new exhibition and the exciting range of celebratory activities we have planned will do just that and we are very grateful for the support which makes it possible.”
Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “Salisbury Cathedral’s original 1215 Magna Carta is one of the world’s most important documents, pivotal to our journey to democracy, and is still hugely relevant to our lives today. In the run-up to the 800th anniversary in 2015, we’re really pleased to be supporting this project that will allow people to see it in its rightful place, properly, for the first time.”
Salisbury Cathedral has raised £200,000 in partnership funding to support its bid including a pledge for £30,000 from Wilsons Solicitors in Salisbury. The Cathedral will be looking to work with a range of partners to deliver its ambitious programme. These include The British Library, Lincoln Cathedral, Magna Carta 800th Committee/Magna Carta Trust, Diocese of Salisbury, the Trussell Trust, BBC, Wiltshire Council, Visit Wiltshire, Dorset County Council, Salisbury City Council, AGEAS Salisbury International Arts Festival, Salisbury Museum, Salisbury Playhouse and Sarum College.
Further details of Salisbury Cathedral’s Magna Carta celebrations are available here.
Listen to the Very Revd June Osborne being interviewed about Salisbury Cathedral's HLF grant for Magna Carta by BBC Wiltshire's Ben Prater.