Date set for pre-historic Brigg raft to go on display at new heritage centre
A date has been set for the arrival of the Brigg raft that will act as the centrepiece of the town's Heritage Centre.
The bronze age raft, uncovered in Brigg in the 1970s, will be on view to the public in the week commencing January 24.
The raft was set to arrive in time for the opening of the centre in June, but was then pushed back to the autumn.
However, it has now been revealed that following a visit to see the raft by members of the Heritage Centre committee, the raft will be transported to the town in December.
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Until this year the raft had been languishing in a storeroom in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
It was then taken to York for restoration work.
Rob Waltham, ward councillor for Brigg and Wolds, paid a visit to see the raft along with other members of the Heritage Centre group.
"It was absolutely brilliant to see it," Mr Waltham said.
"We have had to close the centre for two weeks as we will need to take a window out so we can get it in to the building. The centre will close on Sunday, December 23 and will reopen to the public on Thursday, January 17."
Standing at around eight metres long, the raft will arrive in around 40 sections.
Mr Waltham said the reason for the delay was getting the licence signed over to the heritage centre.
"There is a lot of work that has gone in to restoring the raft and getting it to Brigg," he said.
"With it being so big and so old, there are a lot of things that need to be signed off before it can be released to us.
"We have now got the licence from the Maritime museum and we have agreed a three- year loan extension with them.
The centre has been well received by many in the town, with more than 30 volunteers currently signed up.
"You can really see a passion and enthusiasm in the volunteers that we have got," he said.
"There is a lot of knowledge amongst the volunteers and they are really keen to move this project forward."
The centre, located in the Angel Suite, opened amid great fanfare in June.
The raft will sit in a £30,000 case. The heritage centre is now looking for around £100,000 of funding from the Leader group to help fund phase two of the project.
This will involve developing an education centre in the building from March and will hopefully be open towards the end of next year.
Harvey Rudkin, from Northern Lincolnshire Local Action Group, said: "This is a great project and one we would like to support.
"There is only so much money that can go around though and that is the difficulty."