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Boost for Britten centenary plans

PUBLISHED: 10:23 29 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 06 July 2010

HERITAGE bosses have today given the green light that will enable birthday celebrations for one of the country's greatest composers to take a huge step forward.

HERITAGE bosses have today given the green light that will enable birthday celebrations for one of the country's greatest composers to take a huge step forward.

The Britten-Pears Foundation, which is based at the Red House in Aldeburgh, has been awarded funding of £65,800.

The money has been handed over by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help develop plans for Benjamin Britten's centenary in 2013.

The celebrations will centre on his former home at The Red House, which he shared with tenor Peter Pears and now contains the most complete archive of any major composer.

The HLF first-round pass means the Foundation can now progress to the second stage of the application process and has two years to submit more detailed plans.

It is eventually hoping to apply for £1.2million towards the overall cost - which is likely to be around £1.9m.

The Britten 100 project aims to open up the Red House, its collections and Britten's composition studio, link the house, through a special trail, to the landscape and community that inspired so much of the composer's music, create opportunities for people to share their memories of Britten and develop educational activities for schools and audiences beyond Aldeburgh.

Richard Jarman, general director of the Britten-Pears Foundation, said: “We are delighted that HLF is supporting the further development of the Britten 100 project, which we hope will be the cornerstone of a global celebration of this great and much-loved composer.”

Robyn Llewellyn, head of HLF east of England, added: “We are pleased to be offering initial support for this imaginative project, which will tell the wonderful story of Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears and their creative drive that made The Red House such a special place.

“We look forward to seeing plans being further progressed with the clear goal of Britten's forthcoming centenary to work towards.”

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