Today, The National Lottery Heritage Fund is starting a 10-year journey with Leicester and Stoke-on-Trent, which will transform the areas’ heritage, through its new Heritage Places initiative. Leicester and Stoke-on-Trent are two of the first nine places set to benefit from a share of £200m targeted to unlock the potential of their heritage.
Known as the World Capital of Ceramics, Stoke-on Trent and its six towns form the centre of the renowned pottery-producing region of Staffordshire, alongside award-winning museums and visitor centres.
With long-term funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, both areas aim to identify the needs of their communities and heritage to help develop a thriving cultural and creative economy. Additionally, they will continue to discover and celebrate the stories that uplift and enlighten their local communities, encouraging a sense of pride of place for generations to come.
Building on almost 30 years of experience, research and learning from the largest funder of the UK’s heritage, Heritage Places will provide early funding to engage communities and develop partnerships which unlock possibilities from the heritage on their doorstep.
It will seek out opportunities that have the potential to draw in and benefit from wider investment and support new projects and collaborations helping to address issues such as regeneration, sustainability and employment. Centred on the unique heritage of a place, Heritage Places is set to ignite people’s imagination, inspiration and build pride in place by connecting the past with the future.
Responsive to specific local needs, the initiative encourages a holistic approach and will bring heritage, cultural, community and civic organisations together to combine their knowledge, experience, and investment to transform heritage.
Robyn Llewellyn, Director of England Midlands and East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“At the Heritage Fund, we believe in the power of heritage to create positive and lasting change, now and in the future. We also believe that working at scale in an area can deliver profound impact for its local community, visitors, and economy.
“That’s why we’re excited to announce Leicester and Stoke-on-Trent as our chosen Heritage Places in the Midlands and East of England. Over the next decade, we are embarking on a journey of sustained and targeted investment in heritage, with the potential to significantly enhance these already vibrant Heritage Places.”
Julian Glover, Chair of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Midlands and East, said:
“It’s exciting to think about what can be achieved over the coming years in Leicester and Stoke-on-Trent through strong partnership and targeted investment.
“There’s great opportunity in our chosen Heritage Places and we hope the impact of this and other successful projects on communities and places will continue to inspire more applications for funding of heritage projects.”
Councillor Jane Ashworth, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as one of the areas for the Heritage Places initiative. Stoke-on-Trent has a rich history which we are extremely proud of; each of our six towns has their own unique stories which should be celebrated. We are already working with partners on plans to safeguard key heritage sites across the city and ensure local communities benefit and we are looking forward to this next phase of work with the Heritage Lottery Fund. We are grateful for the investment and are confident that it will enable us to further our efforts and help Stoke-on-Trent to thrive and prosper.”
Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“Heritage is as much about the future as it is the past. With the 10-year sustained investment offered by Heritage Places, the areas announced today can be sure that we will work with communities and partners to target place-based investment that boosts pride in place, connects communities with heritage, and takes confident strides forward using heritage as the foundation for change.”
Heritage Places is one of the long-term initiatives The National Lottery Heritage Fund will be introducing as part of its new 10-year strategy, Heritage 2033, to help address the challenges heritage faces and increase the contribution it makes to people and places.