A HISTORIC Isle of Wight cemetery could be in line for a cash windfall of more than £1m worth of lottery funding.
The Friends of Northwood Cemetery group has won a development grant of £75,300 which the charity will use to secure a hoped-for grant of £1,064,000 next year from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
If the bid is successful, the money will be used to restore the Grade II listed twin chapels, which are in danger of collapse, so they can be returned to community use.
Future plans include the creation of the Island’s first municipal woodland burial site and a heritage trail within the cemetery.
'Little Ben’, the bell in the east chapel tower which was cast at the same foundry that produced Westminster’s Big Ben will also be restored.
In addition, the Grade Two listed boundary wall along Newport Road in Cowes will be re-pointed and the central driveway through the cemetery resurfaced.
Over the next six months, the development grant will be used to employ specialist project managers, consultants and contractors to draw up detailed plans and contract documentation to protect the cemetery and provide a community resource for locals and visitors.
On site works could begin in 2016 if the application, made in partnership with the IW Council, is successful.
Chairman of the Friends of Northwood Cemetery, Jon Matthews, said: "When the friends group was created in 2008, its primary goal was to attract funding to sympathetically restore the cemetery to its former splendour and capitalise on its rich heritage and natural history. That goal has become closer with this award."