REPRESENTATIVES from a Bedlington community project were guests of honour at the launch of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) new funding programme for local groups, this week.
Bedlingtonshire Development Trust will benefit from money to create a new timeline film looking at the town’s cultural and historic links with the 11th century St Cuthbert, the industrial revolution, the coal mining industry and the Bedlington Terrier.
The interactive project will research local history while schoolchildren and other members of the community will re-enact key events in Bedlington’s history, including a miners’ picnic, filmed for the BBC by Ken Russell in 1960.
A mobile exhibition will be created from these re-enactments for schools and old people’s homes.
With a commitment from HLF of awarding £3m of funding each year, Sharing Heritage grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 is now available to groups who want to discover their local heritage.
This new programme follows the unprecedented success of last year’s one-off HLF grant scheme ‘All Our Stories’, which ran in conjunction with BBC2’s The Great British Story: A People’s History.
Helping to launch Sharing Heritage at the People’s History Museum in Manchester, projects from the north east are joining others from across the north of England to share their stories with community groups attending Thursday’s event, hoping to apply for funding under the new scheme.
Malcolm Robinson, chairman of Bedlington Development Trust, said: “It’s about far more than nostalgia, Bedlington has no leisure facilities or heritage centre, so the project is the ideal opportunity to provide content and create a sense of civic pride.”
Projects could include local archaeology, local cultures and traditions, wildlife and protecting the surrounding environment, collecting and digitising old photos, producing local history publications and training volunteers.
An online application pack is available at www.hlf.org.uk/sharingheritage or call (020) 7591 6042 for more information.