The Local Heritage Initiative (LHI) helps communities bring their heritage alive. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Nationwide building society, the initiative gives grants to anyone wishing to investigate their landscape, landmarks, traditions and cultures.
LHI was launched in 2000 and will run for 10 years. It is currently established in England, with similar schemes developing in Scotland, Wales and possibly Northern Ireland.
The LHI website offers information on how to apply for grants and publish your project. It also gives information on projects throughout the UK, for example the Kendal Road, Kent, allotment project where hundreds of schoolchildren have been recruited to maintain old wartime allotments to grow food for schools and the elderly in the area. The site is useful for teachers planning local study work or wishing to get involved in a project or establishing one themselves.
The resource's project directory is thorough. For each project there is information on the particular area of interest followed by a specific outline of its heritage value.
The diversity of the projects is fascinating, ranging from raising awareness of the former Freeminers in the Forest of Dean, using grant money to produce a roll of honour for those who lost their lives, to researching the career of Horatio Bottomley, a colourful character whose amazing life will be documented through a musical to be performed and recorded on video and CD.
An inspiring resource then which will get you thinking about the possibilities in your area and with the grant money that's available - why not?
Gavin Richards is e-Learning manager at Kingsmead Community School, Wiveliscombe, Somerset