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Support for Thomas Paine festival

PUBLISHED: 12:23 30 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:12 07 July 2010

Ian Clarke

A major festival to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of Thetford-born revolutionary writer Thomas Paine is set to get a £10,000 grant from Breckland Council.

A major festival to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of Thetford-born revolutionary writer Thomas Paine is set to get a £10,000 grant from Breckland Council.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has already given £50,000 towards the £104,400 cost of the series of events in Paine's home town next year.

The town council has given £14,000 and other grants have been pledged for a similar amount.

On September 9 Breckland's cabinet will be recommended to give a £10,000 match funding grant to the Thetford Society, which is co-ordinating the wide range of events and activities between May and October.

Paine was born in 1737 and educated at the town's Grammar School and among his best known works were Common Sense and The Rights Of Man.

Among the events planned during 2009 are a re-enactment weekend and heritage festival from June 6-9, which will include a recreation of Georgian Thetford as a background for concerts, library displays, street theatre, story telling lectures and workshops.

There will also be a schools programme, heritage tours showing areas of Thetford Paine would have known, a lecture programme and a community play.

The festival aims to get as many local people as possible involved with activities.

A report to the cabinet meeting says: “This is a well considered application which shows good evidence of consultation which has been used to shape the activities and community involvement. There is a sound fit the council's corporate objectives and the Thetford Society - through the project group - has given significant thought to the management arrangements that need to be put in place.”

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