Trading Places success secures funding for Nene Valley heritage

Rockingham Forest Trust, which manages Stanwick Lakes, will run the four year Trading Places project to benefit communities and young unemployed people from Wellingborough to Thrapston.

‘Trading Places’ will focus on the local trades, skills and lives of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in a colourful programme of heritage activities that are tailored to each of the 12 villages and towns of the Nene Valley. Re-enactors, storytellers, crime historians and traditional crafts people will help communities and schools to connect with, enjoy and understand the history of their local area. There are already plans to celebrate Irchester’s Victorian pork pie factory and to rediscover Irthlingborough’s former railway station.

Trading Places will also be setting up a traditional skills training programme for young unemployed people from the area. An oak framed training barn will be built at the Stanwick lakes site and the project will train small groups in skills that include blacksmithing, shoe making and stonemasonry. A nationally recognised award will be offered to help the young people move towards employment or further training.

Alyson Allfree, Director of Rockingham Forest Trust, said: “This project really marks an important turning point in the trust’s environmental and heritage work. It will enable us to reach out to new audiences and help young people to learn skills from the past in order to secure a brighter future. We are thrilled to have the Heritage Lottery Fund’s support.”

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said: “Lack of skills training continues to be a serious concern as those looking for jobs struggle in challenging conditions. This HLF money will help fund a wide range of opportunities for people to gain valuable training and in so doing will help build a more sustainable heritage sector. We’re keen to play our part in job creation which can have a huge impact on local communities and their morale.”

Notes to editors

Rockingham Forest Trust: Alyson Allfree, Director on 01933 625 527, email: alyson@rftrust.org.uk.

Heritage Lottery Fund press office: Robert Smith on 0207 591 6245 email: roberts@hlf.org.uk.

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