A new scheme which aims to improve heritage education across the East Midlands has been given the green light by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and could be in line for funding worth nearly £500,000.
This HLF first-round pass, including £49,700 of development funding, means that Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln can further develop the Sandford Learning Cascade Project, which will bring together museums and heritage sites in the region and share good ideas about heritage education.
The project is based on the existing annual Sandford Award which BG manages and which recognises excellence in heritage education.
Last year’s winners included the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, the Tower of London and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon.
“We have been awarded a development grant of £49,700, which is great news as it will enable us to take forward a 15-month pilot project,” said Tracy Borman, Sandford Co-ordinator at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln.
“If we’re successful in gaining stage two funding we will receive £488,000 to roll out the project across the whole of the East Midlands.”
Emma Sayer, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said: “We at the Heritage Lottery Fund are delighted to support Bishop Grosseteste University College and bring their vision a step closer to reality.
“By working with sites across the East Midlands to explore new ways of encouraging young people to get involved and explore their heritage, this project has the potential to transform opportunities for education and learning.
“Young people are the future advocates for our heritage, and it is important that we support innovative and engaging ways of developing their insight, skills and experience.”
The aim of the Sandford Learning Cascade Project is to develop the potential of the Sandford Awards as a means of spreading best practice in heritage education across the region.
Under the scheme a number of key Sandford Award winning sites (known as beacon sites) will host short-term placements from nearby museums and heritage sites (known as satellite sites) which are aiming to develop new education programmes or enhance existing ones.
Staff from these satellite sites will record the lessons learned during their placements and put their new knowledge and skills into practice after the placements have ended.
The pilot is expected to start in October 2012 and will focus on two beacon sites and four satellite sites in the East Midlands.
“We’re extremely lucky to have such a wealth of fascinating heritage sites and excellent museums here in the East Midlands,” Tracy added. “They are a vital resource for teaching young people about our past, and this new project is all about improving the way we use heritage sites and museums to engage learners of all ages.”