£34,000 Heritage Lottery boost to revive Sleaford’s historic drinking fountain in fight against plastic waste

Members of the Sleaford and District Civic Trust team celebrate Heritage Lottery funding for their water fountain project. EMN-191202-144224001
Members of the Sleaford and District Civic Trust team celebrate Heritage Lottery funding for their water fountain project. EMN-191202-144224001

Sleaford’s historic drinking fountain is to enter the fight against plastic waste.

Thirty five million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK, contributing to what is widely acknowledged as a crisis for our environment.

The Bristol Water Fountain in Sleaford Market Place. EMN-191202-144213001

The Bristol Water Fountain in Sleaford Market Place. EMN-191202-144213001

Soon, residents of Sleaford will have a new way of fighting back, thanks to a £34,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund grant.

The town’s ornate Bristol Water Fountain in the Market Place will be brought back into use for the first time since 1904.

The Grade II listed fountain was built in 1874 to provide a source of clean water for Sleaford in memory of landowner the Marquis of Bristol. Contaminated water was often taken from the River Slea before this, which could lead to poor health and even death.

The fountain was used for only 30 years before being shut off in 1904. Its purpose has largely been forgotten. But soon, Sleaford’s residents will again be able to use the fountain for fresh water, refilling their own bottles for free in a project masterminded by members of Sleaford and District Civic Trust.

As well as being repaired and reconnected, the fountain’s stonework and covering plates will be restored and new lighting will keep it gently illuminated into the evenings.

Schools will have the opportunity to learn about its history, alongside the importance of clean drinking water and plastic waste reduction. Sleaford Museum will create an accompanying exhibition.

David Marriage, vice-chairman of the Civic Trust and Project Leader, said: “In the past, clean water played a vital role in improving health and increasing life expectancy in Sleaford. It is fantastic that the fountain can now help us improve the health of the environment by reducing plastic usage.”

The fountain’s renewal will complement current restoration and development work in Sleaford, including to the local war memorial.

The total project cost is £40,432 with further support from North Kesteven District Council, Sleaford Town Council and the Dulverton Fund via Lincolnshire Community Foundation.