Heritage and Culture Warwickshire have received a confirmed grant of £965,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the ‘Our Warwickshire’ partnership project, it was announced today.
‘Our Warwickshire’ will celebrate and promote access to heritage within Warwickshire communities, as well as significantly improving the experience for visitors to Market Hall Museum, Warwick. It will also offer a new online platform enabling communities beyond Warwick to share and celebrate their heritage.
Cllr Jeff Clarke, who holds the Environment portfolio for Warwickshire County Council said “Collaboration is at the heart of this project. Heritage and Culture Warwickshire, Warwickshire Local History Society and the Friends of Warwickshire County Record Office will work together with partners and visitors, filling real and virtual spaces with our county’s heritage.”
Cllr Philip Johnson, Chair of Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee added “‘Our Warwickshire’ will focus on our flagship site Market Hall, an iconic building in the centre of Warwick which has been a Museum for over 170 years. Both its prime location and its heritage make it ideally placed to become the Museum of Warwickshire. We will re-energise and re-launch it as a ’gateway’ to Warwickshire’s heritage, exploring the County’s cultural identity by sharing the stories of Warwickshire people, places, landscapes and events.”
The physical improvements, including changes to the layout, display and interpretation at Market Hall will be complemented by an online gateway to celebrate and share Warwickshire’s heritage even further. By harnessing the power of social media and online platforms, the project will ensure engagement goes far beyond local audiences and visitors and has worldwide potential. Driven by communities, enthusiasts from across the county will be able to upload content, share their stories, organise events and encourage others to take part and get involved.
Reyahn King, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “Our Warwickshire promises to transform the way people can explore the county’s rich heritage, from interactive new exhibitions and community space to an innovative online platform where people can share their own stories. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re delighted to support this exciting new chapter for the iconic Market Hall.”
Heritage and Culture Warwickshire firmly believe this project will improve the lives of people in our communities by supporting learning, developing new skills, providing stimulating experiences with friends and family, increasing well-being and building confidence.
Key benefits of ‘Our Warwickshire’include:
- safeguarding collections for current and future generations
- increasing community access to the collections as well as involving communities in how they develop
- unprecedented opportunities for the public, volunteers and partners to find out more about Warwickshire’s heritage and share their findings with others
- more compelling, engaging and challenging displays at Market Hall Museum
- greater opportunities for people outside of Warwick and Warwickshire to inform, engage, and participate with our heritage via our online gateway.
By backing this project, HLF and WCC have recognised the important role Heritage and Culture Warwickshire plays in serving residents and visitors, and in supporting the local economy – this is an opportunity for Warwick and the county as a whole to make an enhanced and valuable contribution.