Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Sugar Rush

It's been awhile, but here's a wee cluster of relevant updates...

We're delighted to hear that a new Heritage Lottery Fund project, Absent Voices, will explore the history of the Sugar Sheds. The project has been developed by Alec Galloway, a long time advocate of using the sheds creatively, and an early contributor to this blog. Can't wait to see how it all comes together.

There have been several new heritage projects kicking off locally...

Inverclyde Council has been given funding for a new coastal heritage trail and also a new youthwork programme. The Identity project, which staged a play in the Sugar Sheds this time last year, is drawing to a close, but is going out with a bang with a new book Kith and Kin and website launched in the last few weeks. And Magic Torch's own Tales of the Oak project launched a new childrens book, which introduces local folklore and legends to younger audiences (wee video and book link below).

Recently, a campaign against local windfarm development in an area of archaeological significance has kicked off...Keep Corlic Wild. The company involved in the development claims it will protect the nearby Roman sites. There's a petition you can sign against the development here.

Inverclyde Council has also launched its new local development plan for consultation, have a read and have your say.

And the Scottish Government have announced a new Regeneration Capital Grant programme, to provide new and improved infrastructure to benefit the economic, social and physical environment of communities. It would be safe to expect a bid from this area, and it would nice to see the community properly engaged in this process, as per the Scottish Governments own Achieving A Sustainable Future strategy which says future regeneration activity must take account of lessons learned and focus on outcomes which "put communities first, effectively involving local residents in the regeneration process and empowering communities". 

Progress, regeneration, development...all very familiar stories across the country. Earlier this year, the BBC ran a programme, Heritage!, which charted the pioneering campaign work of the individuals who set out to save so much of the built heritage we currently have left in this country. Indeed, Heritage Lottery have recently launched an excellent new funding stream Heritage Enterprise, to try and find effective new uses for old buildings, a way to perhaps assist the economy without the frantic and often unnecessary desire for new build - which threatens even the most historic locations. The model suggests private and social enterprises working collaboratively in a genuine partnership to unlock potential of local spaces...something we've always seriously advocated...

Anyway, here's a wee video from our storytelling project with some local monsters in it, you can download a free copy of the book here....and as ever, more regular heritage updates on our Tales of the Oak blog.

UPDATED 15 July 2013

There have been changes at local Urban Regeneration Company Riverside Inverclyde following a damning mid term report. Key staff have now left the programme, which has met only 7% of its local jobs targets in the 7 years it has been in existence, while levering in only 1% of the private investment it had projected. The "toxic" nature of the James Watt Dock site is mentioned in the report, which is not currently publicly available, but is referenced in this Glasgow Herald article. The "Riverside Inverclyde Fails" story is also covered on BBC news.