Heritage Lottery Fund Backs the Charnwood Roots Project

Posted by pt91 at Aug 03, 2011 11:16 AM |
Major local heritage project to be based at University of Leicester

Issued by Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust on 2 August 2011

Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust has been awarded a development grant of £19,100 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for their ‘Charnwood Roots’ project it was announced today.

Over the next nine months, the Trust will develop detailed plans for a major heritage project that will research the history of twenty-seven towns and villages in and around the Charnwood Forest area of Leicestershire. The first round pass means that the Trust can now progress to the second round application process and has up to two years to submit more detailed plans and apply for the £335,000 of HLF support that it is seeking for the project.

The University of Leicester will provide a base for the project. Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust will benefit from its close relationship with the University of Leicester's internationally acclaimed Centre for English Local History and access to specialists across a number of departments and research institutes, such as the Beyond Distance Research Alliance and the East Midlands Oral History Archive.

Commenting on the importance of this award, Gerard de Lisle, Chairman of Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust said, “We are delighted by this endorsement of our plans. ‘Charnwood Roots’ is the Trust’s first major project and will allow us to work with community groups across the county and provide training to hundreds of volunteers. It is fantastic news for all of our supporters and donors, and for the local groups who have said that they would like to take part.”  

If the project goes ahead, around 400 volunteers of all ages from across the Charnwood area will have the opportunity to participate and will receive free, high-quality training from historians and heritage professionals. As well as learning how to use and interpret maps and archival records, local people will have the chance to get involved in archaeological digs, a major oral history project, and building and landscape surveys. There are also plans for a series of outreach activities with local schools in the area.

The results of the research will be made available on the web, through podcasts, exhibitions, school resources, trails, a book and a concluding Charnwood Roots Heritage Festival, open to all. The intention is then to incorporate the research within the Victoria History of the Counties of England, a nationally important work of reference.  Historian and television presenter Michael Wood, a patron of the Trust, said, “I’m delighted that support for the Leicestershire Victoria County History project is growing. As was seen in our recent Story of England TV series on the BBC - and the terrific public response to it - Leicestershire is one of the most fascinating of England’s historic counties. This is a really important and worthwhile project which will be of great interest to all East Midlanders and to the much wider public who are interested in our history. The VCH is the best reference work for local English history and having filmed in the county and written about it over the last 25 years, I for one can’t wait to see the Leicestershire set completed!”

For further information please contact:

Dr Julie Deeming (Trust Secretary)     (0116) 252 2765  or   07941852941   jad17@le.ac.uk

Notes for Editors:

Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust

The Leicestershire Victoria County History project is part of a national endeavour which began in 1899 to write the history of every town, village and hamlet in England. These local histories were published as 'big red books' for which the VCH is well-known. Work on the Leicestershire volumes ceased in the 1960s with some 300 parishes yet to be investigated and written. Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust was formed in 2008 and registered as a charity in 2009 to raise the necessary funds for this work to be undertaken. We are currently providing training to an enthusiastic team of volunteers who are researching the histories of towns and villages around the county for publication within future VCH volumes. This work has been supported by Leicestershire County Council, the University of Leicester, Harvey Ingram LLP and by the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. Further volumes in the Leicestershire VCH series can only be produced with the assistance of volunteers to research and write the entries. The Trust is committed to providing sufficient training to these volunteers free of charge and relies on charitable donations to support this important work.

Website: www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk/leicestershire

Heritage Lottery Fund

A first-round pass means the project meets our criteria for funding and we believe it has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. Having been awarded a first-round pass, Leicestershire VCH Trust now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award.

On occasion an applicant with a first-round pass will also be awarded development funding towards the development of their scheme.

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. For museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural, environmental and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 33,900 projects, allocating £4.4billion across the UK.

Website: www.hlf.org.uk

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