New heritage projects thanks to lottery funding

Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves

Tue 2nd April 2024

The Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust (DHBT) is looking to identify hundreds of endangered buildings, and draw in new volunteers, thanks to the latest funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The DHBT, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has already rescued, restored, and creatively re-used more than100 buildings, ranging from a simple toll bar cottage to 55 railway cottages in Derby, and – more recently – Wingfield Station near Alfreton.
But the £207,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund over the next two years will now support the DHBT in new areas: firstly, identifying heritage buildings and structures at risk, and secondly in helping local enthusiasts to develop the knowledge and skills needed to maintain and restore those historic buildings.
Commenting on the award, DHBT trustee and project leader, Allan Morrison, said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players. There are over 7,000 grade II listed buildings in our area.
“We’ll be using the power of volunteers to undertake simple building condition surveys using a digital app, which has been developed by our colleagues at the West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust.
“No prior knowledge of heritage or buildings will be required, so we see this as a great way to involve people with their local history and provide opportunities to get out and about.”
The surveys, which are set to help the DHBT to focus their future support and investment, will be piloted during 2024 – initially in the largest district in Derbyshire, Amber Valley Borough Council, and then in Derby city.
Allan continued: “This is a flexible volunteering opportunity: people and/or groups might look at one building or complete hundreds! It will take about five minutes per building, so we hope as many people as possible will get involved and learn new skills.
“People will even be able to use the app to suggest unlisted buildings that they feel are important in their local area.”
A third aspect of the project will be the development of a DHBT Academy, which will inspire, inform, and support people through small-scale heritage training opportunities.
The trust spokesmen said: “The DHBT will identify local areas and projects where they can deliver live on-site training and theory classes to a range of people. Participants will gain experience of working on ‘real’ projects; understand more about working on historic buildings; and develop trade and heritage craft skills.
“The project, which builds on the successful restoration of Wingfield station, will help the DHBT to become more resilient as the work will help the trust to identify future projects and build training opportunities into all of them.”

If you’d like to get involved with the project email volunteers@derbyshirehistoricbuildingstrust.org.uk to register your interest.

Find out more about the trust’s plans and the grant award here

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