NEW BEDFORD — State officials announced awards of over $9 million in funding for historic sites Thursday while visiting Seamen's Bethel and Mariner's Home.

Governor Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) made the announcement of the latest round of the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund to a crowd of recipients.

Mayor Jon Mitchell and other local officials were also in attendence at Seamen's Bethel, which received $440,000 in funding for renovations.

Baker said the building is essential to the Whaling City's past.

"I think this particular facility, given what it is, what it's represented and what it was all about, it's a little bit of the heartbeat and the soul of New Bedford, for generations," said Baker.

Another Southcoast receipient is the Buzzards Bay Coalition, which received $125,000 for renovations to the historic 1890 Bathhouse on Onset Beach as well as environmental education programs along the Wareham coast.

"We spend a lot of money on HVAC systems, and roofs, and septic systems and things that aren't terribly glamorous, things you can't hang a plaque on, things that are hard to raise money for, but this little bit of money from the Cultural Facilities Fund is preserving the most important enduring treasures that exist here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," said Anita Walker, Executive Director of MCC.

Since 2007, the cultural council has given out over $100 million for nearly 800 projects across the Commonwealth.

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