Digital:works has received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Sharing Heritage grant, it was announced today. Their exciting project, ‘If Walls Could Talk’ in the Park district estate in Weymouth has been given £9,900 to record and celebrate people’s memories of prior uses of commercial buildings in the area.
Digital:works is an arts and educational charity that works with communities, providing training and creative assistance to produce arts and media projects. This project will bring local people together in a series of events to map out the old uses of local buildings, to discover images, describe the old interiors and collect people’s stories of incidents occurring in and around the properties. The project will culminate in a map, a digital e-booklet, a website and a series of guided tours around the estate.
Project leader and local resident, Amy Hopwood, said; “I’ve always been curious about the past of so many of the buildings on the estate – you can see hints like butcher shop tiles on the outside of what is now a house and the old fading shop hoardings above what are now flats – and I’m so excited that we can now start collecting people’s memories of what happened in these buildings and the stories of everyday life around here in the 1950s and 60s.”
Joe Stevens, digital:works participation worker, said: “Our goal with all our projects is to encourage and maintain participants’ sense of ownership of both the process and the final product. This, we believe, is the guiding principle of true participation work.”
Nerys Watts Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West said: “Sharing Heritage is a wonderful opportunity for communities to delve into their local heritage and we are delighted to be able to offer this grant so that the ‘If Walls Could Talk’ project can embark on a real journey of discovery. Heritage means such different things to different people, and HLF’s funding offers a wealth of opportunities for groups to explore and celebrate what’s important to them in their area.”
Sharing Heritage is for any not-for-profit group wanting to explore their community’s heritage. With a commitment from HLF of £3m each year, Sharing Heritage grants between £3,000 and £10,000 are available to groups who want to discover their local heritage. Projects can cover a wide spectrum of subject matter from exploring local archaeology and a community’s cultures and traditions to identifying and recording local wildlife and protecting the surrounding environment to managing and training volunteers, and holding festivals and events to commemorate the past.