Friends chair on funding boost for Antonine Wall

kinneilfortlet850wide.jpgA £2.1 million project to raise the profile of the Roman Antonine Wall – which runs through Kinneil and across central Scotland – has secured £980,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

HLF is also giving just nearly £1.2 million to help a sister project on Hadrian’s Wall in northern England.

Ian Shearer, Chair of the Friends of Kinneil, said: “This is very good news for the Antonine Wall and for the areas along it as a whole. The proposed projects will give added focus to this World Heritage site, help attract more visitors and improve educational resources for the next generation to learn about the ancient Roman frontier heritage of Central Scotland.

“Since 2006 we’ve done as much as any volunteer group to promote the Wall – we started Big Roman Week, for example. The replica Bridgeness Slab was another inspirational project by dedicated Bo’ness community members. So it is inevitably discouraging that none of the main capital projects under this announcement are coming to Kinneil or Bo’ness. Across the heritage sector, the best volunteers aren’t going to feel rewarded – or that it is fair – when other places, with perhaps less voluntary commitment, have more public heritage provision laid on.

“However, we’re pleased that Falkirk Community Trust is actively seeking separate funding for a new play trail at Kinneil. We’re also committed to working constructively with the Trust, Historic Environment Scotland and other partners to seek priority for Kinneil for future investment, to raise its unique multiple layers of 2,000 years of internationally-important heritage to the full potential it fairly deserves.”

Emma McMullen, Antonine Wall HLF Project Manager, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support our £2.1m Rediscovering the Antonine Wall project over the next three years.  This will give us the opportunity to work with communities along the length of the Wall to better engage them with their Roman heritage, along with creating facilities that will help to promote the Antonine Wall to visitors.  The funding will also allow us to work with colleagues at Hadrian’s Wall and the German Limes to share ideas.”

Pictured above: the remains of the Roman fortlet at Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness.