Plans to transform the ruins of a chapel into an education centre have moved a significant step forward.
Wisbech Society needs an estimated £200,000 to transform the neglected chapel at the town’s General Cemetery into a vibrant community and education centre.
The society has now received £23,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to move its application onto the important second stage.
A further £2,300 has been added to develop a detailed application, thanks to funding from the society along with Wisbech and Fenland Museum.
A society spokesman said: “Success at this second stage would release further Heritage Lottery Fund money, which Wisbech Society will combine with fundraising, so far amounting to more than £10,000, and its own resources to generate the total of almost £300,000 necessary to complete the project.”
The chapel, which was built in 1848, has fallen into disrepair since the cemetery closed in 1972.
Once restored, it is hoped the Friends of Wisbech will be able to expand its current programme of events and activities. It is also hoped that the chapel will be used as a resource centre for historians and those visiting the cemetery, which is also a wildlife haven.
The General Cemetery is historically important as one of the few Victorian non-denominational cemeteries and it is also the final resting place for several significant people.