Published on January 21st, 2014 | by Gaelle Finley



People’s Heritage Centre wins financial backing

Plans to open a People’s Heritage Centre in Handsworth have got off to a flying start in 2014 thanks to a grant award of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a further £10,000 from RBS’s Community Grants scheme.

The centre aims to research, archive and showcase the diverse and shared heritage of the people of Birmingham.

The steering committee is holding an Open Day at South and City College on Soho Road (Sports Hall) on Saturday 25 January, 10.00am-12.00pm, followed by lunch.

Aftab Rahman, Director of Legacy WM, who is heading up the new venture, said: ‘We would like individuals and organisations who are interested in the project and who would like to contribute to get in touch. Our hope is that the centre will strengthen links between Birmingham’s many communities as well as building a positive image for an area that has suffered from negative publicity in the past.’

‘Birmingham is a hugely diverse city and migration has been key to its growth. Successive waves of immigrants have settled here and made it their home. Recent events have emphasised the importance of us all understanding the role migration has played and continues to play in shaping all great cities. We are grateful to HLF and RBS for this funding. The two grants of £10,000 each will be used to carry out a feasibility study and to draw up a business plan.’

Reyahn King, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “We are delighted to provide start-up funding that will help Legacy WM to examine the feasibility of a heritage centre in Handsworth.”

Andrew Harrison, Managing Director for RBS Corporate & Institutional Banking in Birmingham said: “The Heritage Centre will be a place that the local community can come together to celebrate the rich past of the area.  It will, however, also be a place for the future and I hope it will act as inspiration for younger generations.  RBS is delighted to support the project as its aims are aligned to our own goal of inspiring enterprise.”

The project’s steering committee is in discussions with South & City College over the possible use of a locally listed fire station linked to its Soho Road campus.

Paul Morris, Assistant Principal at South & City College said: ‘We are delighted to be involved in such an exciting project and look forward to seeking the views of those planning to attend the forthcoming Open Day.’


Photo: Left to right James Lawrence – HLF, Rita McLean – Museums & Heritage Consultant, Reyahn King – HLF, Aftab Rahman – Legacy WM, Annette Robinson – Kingsway Project – courtesy of Mick Archer.

With thanks to Aftab Rahman, Legacy WM – 07861 310802 e:

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