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£3.3million lottery windfall for industrial heritage in Nottinghamshire

Budby Common

Sherwood Forest and Mansfield Market Place will both benefit from money raised by National Lottery players after a Nottinghamshire County Council partnership and Mansfield District Council were successful in their bids to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Local people will have new opportunities to learn more about the county’s industrial past and how it shaped the places they call home today.

Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “At one point in history, Britain led the way when it came to industry and manufacturing. It’s so important that we remember and celebrate the people and places in Nottinghamshire that played a pivotal role in this success.

“People are at the heart of all of the projects we fund, and not only will these projects regenerate key historic sites in Nottinghamshire, but also provide more opportunities for local people to enjoy local heritage and develop their skills.”

Sherwood Forest’s Industrial Landscape – £2.4million

Nottinghamshire County Council and its partners have been awarded a National Lottery grant of £2.4m for From Miner to Major: The Real Sherwood Forest. Though best-known as the home of Robin Hood, the project will tell another story of Sherwood Forest, encouraging former coal-mining communities to examine the area’s post-industrial landscape.

Former spoil heaps will be restored as heathland, protecting the area’s rare species, while volunteers will be encouraged to get involved in projects to investigate archaeology hidden beneath the forest.

Local communities will be given the skills to knowledge to look after the landscape, through restoring vital heathland, protection and conservation of ancient trees, and local history projects mapping Sherwood over the past 100 years.

Councillor John Cottee, Chairman of the Communities & Place Committee, said: “This is fantastic news.  It reflects the national importance of the Sherwood Forest area as well as all the years of hard work that has been put in by colleagues and partners to secure this vital funding. We can now make our plans a reality.

“These are exciting times for Nottinghamshire and for Sherwood Forest. The project will also help boost the local economy, by linking in with other investment and projects in the area, including the new visitor centre at the Sherwood Forest Country Park, which is due to open next month. This will further celebrate Sherwood Forest’s heroes, heroines and villains, including the most famous legend of them all, Robin Hood!

“It is particularly pleasing that local young people, via youth forums and workshops, have been closely involved in the development of our bid.  We have listened carefully to what they have had to say, after all, this project is very much about the future of the Sherwood Forest area and making sure it remains a special place for many generations to come.”

The historic Sherwood Forest covered much of Nottinghamshire north of the Trent and our project area stretches from Bestwood village in the south to Edwinstowe and the National Nature Reserve in the north; and from Mansfield and Ashfield in the west to Ollerton in the east.

There will be a whole range of ways people can get involved, including learning and volunteering opportunities as well as accredited training to provide people with skills to restore, manage, understand and promote heritage within the Sherwood Forest area.

Mansfield’s Market Place Conservation Area – £849,100

The historic market town of Mansfield saw huge transformation during the Industrial Revolution, with trades booming in malting, cotton production and framework knitting. Coal mining was also one of Mansfield’s main industries throughout the 20th century, and the town saw violent scenes during the Miners’ strike of 1984-85.

A National Lottery grant of nearly £850,000 will see a number of properties within the boundary of the Mansfield Market Place Conservation area in central Mansfield repaired, with historic features and traditional shop fronts reinstated along Leeming Street, The Market Place and Stockwell Gate.

Community programmes will also promote the heritage of the area, with heritage skills workshops on offer to building owners and tenants, oral histories of the town being recorded for the future, and activities such as walks, heritage trails and even street parties highlighting the area’s history.

Cllr Dave Saunders, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Growth at Mansfield District Council, said: “This is great news for Mansfield Town Centre, our businesses and residents. Thank you to the Heritage Lottery Fund for this vital funding and our partners Mansfield BID, Vision West Nottinghamshire College and Nottinghamshire County Council who worked with us to create the successful bid.

“The conservation area around Mansfield Market Place contains some of our most unique and historic buildings. This Townscape Heritage project will preserve the character and use of these important architectural assets for future generations and improve the appearance and vitality of the town centre, which is part of our long-term vision.”

The announcement continues a pattern of investment in industrial heritage in Nottinghamshire, including awards to Clipstone Colliery and projects exploring the language and experiences of Nottinghamshire miners.

Earlier this year HLF launched its Working Lives campaign, which is encouraging groups in Nottingham and across the East Midlands to apply for funding to record local people’s stories of working life. To find out more, visit: www.hlf.org.uk.