A DECAYING off-island chapel has received a huge £205,000 windfall for a conversion project while Prince Charles's Duchy of Cornwall – whose last-year profit topped £17 million – has received £23,200.
The two sums are part of the latest allocations of Defra funding by the Isles of Scilly Local Action Group (LAG) – the first to renovate and convert St Agnes's former Bible Christian Chapel into a much-needed community hall and workspace centre; the second to significantly improve the rundown area around Bryher's Church Quay.
St Agnes's payout – contingent on Defra endorsement – is, to date, the largest of the Defra – EU funding that LAG has allocated to local causes and, said a LAG member, would achieve "a massive step-change for residents of, perhaps, the most isolated of our islands".
It would restore the hall to its full architectural glory, with the restoration of original window features and the placement of a new sprung floor.
The Bryher scheme, due for completion in April, will see the transformation of the quay shed into a fit-for-purpose waiting room; the installation of rubbish bins for yachtsmen; external seating; the development of a 'roadway' to a sheltered temporary freight storage/vehicle parking area; and quay area improvements.
Two further allocations totalling £43,800, include £21,600 to the 1821-built Buzza Tower to be converted into a camera obscura tourist attraction, and £22,200 to The Star Castle Winery Tasting and Wine Story Exhibition at Holy Vale, St Mary's.