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Archaeology: Flag Fen

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether he plans to offer financial or other assistance to the Flag Fen bronze age site near Peterborough to (a) continue and (b) expand its (i) exhibition and (ii) excavation work; and if he will make a statement. (192487)

[holding answer 10 March 2008]: Since 1988-89 English Heritage, the Government’s statutory adviser on the historic environment, has given around £356,000 to the Fenland Archaeological Trust (FAT) for surveys, excavation, analysis, detailed publication and public presentation of the Flag Fen site and its surroundings. £300,000 of this was given through the former Archaeology Commissions programme (now Historic Environment Enabling Programme). A further £56,000 was contributed through regional grant aid specifically for the Preservation Hall. In addition to this expenditure a popular account of the site was published in the English Heritage/Batsford series on England’s archaeology. In 2008-09 English Heritage will be providing a further contribution of around £1,500 towards the publication of more recent investigations. Supporting the exhibition is outside the remit of English Heritage’s grant schemes.

FAT is a partner in the Greater Fens Museum Partnership, which is receives £96,200 from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council’s (MLA) “Renaissance in the Regions” regional museums development programme. The trust has received £1,500 for object conservation work from MLA.

FAT also secured £600,000 from the Millennium Commission towards the cost of a new Heritage Centre, as part of the £5.408 million Peterborough Green Wheel project. FAT has received two grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). In March 2006 the trust was awarded £178,000 to support education and outreach activities, and in August 2006, £44,688 was awarded for a project planning grant. HLF is anticipating a larger application as a result of this work.