Opportunity Peterborough wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

Opportunity Peterborough has been successful in attracting a grant of just over £24,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a new project, Peterborough Buildings in Need.

The project will provide opportunities for people to enjoy free events, workshops, masterclasses and lectures over the next nine months. Led by the city’s Heritage Regeneration Officer Alice Kershaw, the project aims to work with volunteers to give them skills to perform brief visual surveys of city centre buildings to identify those “in need” of maintenance and repair.

Peterborough has a rich heritage with over 1,000 listed buildings, 230 locally listed buildings and 29 Conservation Areas. The City Centre Conservation Area is currently on the English Heritage ‘at risk’ list, but initiatives like this and the recently awarded Partnership Scheme in Cowgate which will run for the next three years, are aiming to remove it from the list in the next few years.

The project will use the money from the Heritage Lottery Fund to run a series of free events, including lunchtime and evening lectures, weekend workshops, and masterclasses to give free, in-depth heritage skills training to interested local people. Those attending the masterclasses can claim some expenses and will also receive a certificate of attendance. This project aims to educate and inform local enthusiasts about the need to understand and maintain these buildings.

Commenting on the grant, heritage regeneration officer, Alice Kershaw said: “Peterborough has a rich and fascinating heritage which is part of the city’s identity and it’s so important that we preserve it. We’re delighted to secure this funding which will enable us to deliver free events for local people to gain new skills to understand and help look after our built environment.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “Our built heritage is the key to understanding the history of our towns and cities, and how they have developed through time. Across Peterborough there is a wealth of important and well-loved historic buildings, and it is exciting to see that volunteers will soon be given hands-on learning in the skills required to help identify those in need of specific care and attention. This will give communities across the city the opportunity to learn about historic buildings and celebrate their pride in the city’s heritage.”