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UCLan Students’ Union to put Preston’s history under the spotlight

20 October 2015

Lyndsey Boardman

Heritage Lottery Fund grant will bring local history to life

Students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are aiming to bring Preston’s history to life by teaming up with the Harris Museum & Art Gallery for a Heritage Lottery Fund supported project.

The UCLan Students’ Union (SU) has secured £49,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Young Roots programme to explore UCLan’s heritage and connection with the city, local community and the wider Lancashire area.

Over the next 19 months The Union will work with the Harris Museum & Art Gallery in Preston to put on a variety of exhibitions and workshops looking at how the city has changed, exploring political activism, with additional help from the People’s History Museum in Manchester, and uncovering local stories.

They will do this by organising historical tours of the city, educational workshops, exhibitions and theatrical performances as well as holding a photography competition and developing a ‘UCLan through the ages’ local history app for mobile phones. The aim is to make students and the community more aware of Preston’s fascinating history which includes the origin of the Temperance Movement, the battle of Preston in the English Civil War and birthplace of Sir Richard Arkwright.

“This project is a fantastic opportunity to bring students into contact with Preston’s rich heritage through the collections at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery.”

UCLan SU President, Josie Linsel, commented: “It’s brilliant news that our Students’ Union has been awarded funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project will create exciting new ways for our UCLan students to connect with the history, heritage and communities of Preston and the wider area. I can’t wait to see what the students achieve.”

James Arnold, History Curator at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, said: “This project is a fantastic opportunity to bring students into contact with Preston’s rich heritage through the collections at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery. Students will have the opportunity to use photographs and maps to look at the architectural heritage of Preston and the stories behind the intriguing objects on display and in storage.”

Sara Hilton, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “Preston’s heritage offers a rich resource for education and it’s wonderful to see it being used by UCLan in such an interesting way, giving the students involved the chance to explore and share Preston’s, and wider Lancashire’s, intriguing history with the public. This project has been made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players and we can’t wait to see what it achieves.”

The project is called The Diffusion of Useful Knowledge – UCLan through the ages. The first phase of the project will involve recruiting a project officer and events will start to take place at the end of the year.