A COMMUNITY group’s future has been secured thanks to grant worth thousands of pounds.

Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the Canvey Community Archive £4,600 so it can continue to expand and teach more people about the history of Canvey.

Set up in 2006, the archive records the island’s past online at canveyisland.org The latest project, called Taking the Archive to the People, will see the cash used to share the archive with more people by holding sessions at Canvey library. Public meetings and talks will also be given about Canvey’s history to local schools.

The money will also be spent to replace outdated laptops, scanners and voice recorders.

Janet Penn, editor of the archive, said: “We have not bought new equipment for six years, so the grant is a huge help. We could not do any of the shows or talks without this equipment so the grant has really made it all possible.”

An open day at the War Memorial Hall, High Street, on Saturday, September 27, will mark the occasion. Open from 10.30 till 4pm, the archive will be on display alongside exhibitions from other community groups including the heritage centre, bus museum and carnival committee.

A history trail is planned for later next year which will see the archive work with other museums on the island with an event at the Paddocks. Joan Liddiard, chairman of Canvey Community Archive, said: “This is an exciting time for the Archive. Canvey is a unique island with a wealth of history, which we must promote for future generations.”

Robyn Llewellyn, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, added: “Sharing heritage is a wonderful opportunity for communities to delve into their local heritage and we are delighted to be able to offer this grant so the project can embark on a real journey of discovery.

“Heritage means such different things to different people, and our funding offers a wealth of opportunities for groups to explore and celebrate what’s important to them in their area.”