City Voices wins National Lottery grant to bring Gloucester’s heritage to life
By Sophie Ladd | 14th July 2021
Gloucester's award-winning City Voices programme has scooped a £250,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The three-year grant will support communities across the city to develop projects which explore and share their rich heritage through oral history, exhibitions, dance, art, theatre and music.
City Voices, which is hosted by cultural development organisation GUST, offers a platform for new audiences to discover and share their history and heritage through community-led commissioning. Past projects have included everything from creating new maps and walks through the city with interactive sounds and illustrations charting your journey, to telling the story of the Windrush generation's contribution to the health service in Gloucester, to celebrating local people sharing their own astounding family histories.
City Voices will provide a year-round programme of activity, whilst continuing to showcase events as part of Gloucester History Festival in September each year. Made possible with money raised by National Lottery players, this funding, to be distributed over the next three years will support City Voices to establish its profile within communities, providing funding and mentoring support to local people to create exciting, innovative events.
City Voices contributor and Gloucester resident, Shadowed Eyes, says: "Photographing the historical sites of Gloucester kept a light on for me in a world seized by anxiety and pandemic, revealing a city where history shines like the stars at night.
"The invitation to put on the first ever exhibition of my images as part of its City Voices programme this year brings with it a new hope and great sense of purpose. I am delighted that more people like me will be able to participate in the programme"
Donna Renney, chair of GUST said: "We are so excited to be able to support a project that praises the power and imagination of local volunteer community groups who do so much to shape the character of Gloucester and reflect its extraordinary heritage.
"City Voices directly supports the city's cultural strategy, to make Gloucester a better place to live, work and play by engaging and empowering local communities and leaders."
Richard Graham, MP for Gloucester and chair of Gloucester History Festival is delighted:
"This Lottery award is a three-year rocket boost to the exciting community based projects that bring alive the City Voices strand of our Gloucester History Festival. A great day for pride in our city, its stories, diversity and togetherness."
Stuart McLeod, Director of England - London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, says:
"We are thrilled to support City Voices in providing a year-round programme of exciting activities as well as a platform for a wider range of people to discover and share their heritage through community-led commissioning.
"Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this three-year project will help communities across the city to develop and share their rich heritage through oral history, exhibitions, dance, art, theatre and music."
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