Genealogy project gets £50k award

A local family history project is celebrating success after their pioneering work received funding of almost £50,000.

Newbiggin by the Sea Genealogy Project will receive a grant of £44,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for its work on the town.

Set up by local volunteers last year, the project aims to compile a database of everyone who ever lived in Newbiggin, drawing links between the families of this close-knit community and providing ways for a thousand stories to be told – to both residents and visitors to the town.

Project chairman Hilton Dawson said: “This is a huge vote of confidence in Newbiggin from the National Heritage Lottery Fund and we are extremely grateful to them for their support.

“It has been inspired by the contributions from hundreds of Newbiggin people and it is being led by a committee made up of local people who have worked extremely hard to achieve this success.

“The Heritage Lottery Fund bid was a very challenging process where we had to demonstrate the importance of this innovative approach to community family history in direct competition with many other worthy claims from across the region.”

The developed Newbiggin Community Family Tree is expected to be completed in 2015.

Ivor Crowther, head of Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to support the Newbiggin community with this project.

“The project is clearly at the heart of the community and it is evident that the local people are excited to research their fascinating heritage.”