Redcar and Cleveland project wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

The “Our Industrial Heartland” project is being led by the council’s Environmental Protection Team, in partnership with Guisborough Angling Club, volunteer groups from the local community, academics, Forestry Enterprise and the Tees Wildlife Trust.

It will start in November 2016 and run until November 2018.

The HLF grant will help the team discover, catalogue, promote and conserve the industrial heritage between Skelton and Guisborough, whilst enhancing the natural environment surrounding Guisborough Woods, Waterfall Beck and Skelton Beck to Skelton Mill.

The area contains a wealth of industrial heritage originating from extensive mining and quarrying but many of these sites have never been fully surveyed or recorded and a great number are in serious states of decline.

The funding will help carry out a survey of the condition of mining heritage, with some of the workings dating back to the Roman period, and give a better understanding to the conservation needs along the Skelton Beck.

The project will also support two student research projects to analyse the water quality of several becks and study the ecology of mining site habitats.

An online blog will be organised to allow people access to information on local heritage, and promote events for anyone looking to participate.

Councillor Philip Thomson, ward member for Saltburn at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This is marvellous news for Redcar and Cleveland. The HLF grant will help us to better understand and conserve these sites for the community, saving them for future generations and helping the environment in the process.

“These studies will provide some answers about the state of our water quality and ecology. We are confident that the online blog will generate a real knowledge base for future generations to access, add to and enjoy.

“We are hoping that the whole community can become involved in the wider project and work with the many voluntary groups already engaged. Our aspiration is for this initial start to become far reaching across East Cleveland and the wider borough.”

Deputy Council Leader, David Walsh, who is also a Skelton ward member said: “This is a really encouraging start to draw up a fully-fledged submission for the preservation and protection of valuable industrial archaeology in the project area – and most importantly the protection and interpretation of surviving ironstone mine buildings in East Cleveland.

“We identified last year through the council’s “Public Realm Programme” the need to see a project like this as a long term partnership ambition, and hopefully this grant will help with developing this ambition.”

Councillor Carl Quartermain, cabinet member for jobs, skills and leisure at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This is fantastic news for the borough, which has such a strong industrial heritage. I send my congratulations to everyone who has bid for this funding, which provides us with a great opportunity to explore and protect the rich history we have right on our doorstep.”

Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “From enhancing landscapes to saving remnants of the industries that shaped them, volunteers and communities will be at the heart of securing the future of some diverse heritage. Redcar and Cleveland is currently a priority area for our investment of money raised by National Lottery players, so we are especially delighted to support this project which will take the first step towards building a lasting legacy of the area’s past and open it up for even more people to enjoy.” 

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