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Project plans to celebrate Benjamin Britten's life

PUBLISHED: 01:01 29 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 06 July 2010

Benjamin Britten on Lowestoft sea wall, 1929

Benjamin Britten on Lowestoft sea wall, 1929

Emily Dennis

Plans to celebrate the life and musical achievements of one of the east coast's most famous composers have taken an important step forward after funding was secured to develop the project.

Plans to celebrate the life and musical achievements of one of the east coast's most famous composers have taken an important step forward after funding was secured to develop the project.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has given the Britten-Pears Founda-tion the green light to develop plans in Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast to mark the centenary of Benjamin Britten's birth.

Funding of £65,800 has been awarded to help develop the plans which centre on Lowestoft-born Britten's former home, The Red House, and the most complete archive of any major composer.

The foundation now has up to two years to submit more detailed plans and apply for the £1.2m of HLF support it is seeking for the £1.9m Britten 100 project.

Aldeburgh will be at the centre of worldwide interest in Britten's centenary in 2013.

The Britten 100 project aims to:

Open up The Red House, its collections and Britten's composition studio as never before.

Link the house, through a Britten Trail, to the landscape and community that inspired so much of the composer's music.

Create opportunities for people who were part of the Britten story to share their memories.

Develop educational activities that will take The Red House's unique sense of place to schools and audiences far beyond Aldeburgh.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of HLF East of England, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund is pleased to be offering its initial support for this imaginative project which will tell the wonderful story of Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears and their creative drive which 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.”

Richard Jarman, general director of the Britten-Pears Foundation, added: “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.”

He added: “What we have here is unique; we have not only the house where Britten lived but we have also got this amazing archive.

“It is the sum total of a life's works going right back to the earliest musical doodles when he was five or six right through to his big works.”

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