Heritage pros needed for new round of Accelerator recruitment

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After a successful year, a University of Northampton project to increase the appreciation of Corby’s unique heritage is looking for more practitioners.

The next ‘heritage heroes’ are being sought by the University to continue a cultural revolution in the town of Corby.

The Heritage Accelerator for Northamptonshire is backed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The programme provides the means for local practitioners in arts, culture, heritage, and history – whether they are established professionals or those with passion and skills in those areas – to develop themselves and ensure a continuing climate of heritage for Corby.

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The first of Northamptonshire’s Heritage Accelerators are already being supported by the programme to educate and inform people about what, for some, might be hitherto unknown areas of Corby’s built, environmental and historical legacy.

Lisa Lovett in her Earthly Arts StudioLisa Lovett in her Earthly Arts Studio
Lisa Lovett in her Earthly Arts Studio

Applications for the second cohort of Heritage Accelerators are now open. The programme offers practitioners:

  • Needs-led continuous professional development, lasting for ten months.
  • £4k to support training, expenses, and project development.
  • The chance to pilot and develop ideas through to funding applications.
  • Opportunities to develop and submit competitive project grants.
  • Knowledge exchange and shared events with Luton practitioners.

One of the first cohort of Corby Heritage Accelerator practitioners is former arts teacher and UON Primary Education graduate Lisa Lovett. The culmination of Lisa’s involvement with the project so far has seen her receive studio space at Chester House Estate, where she recently held educational pottery workshops.

Lisa, whose Earthly Arts Studio will be officially launched later this month, says: “Heritage Accelerator has been like a lottery win and an amazing opportunity which has enabled me to fulfil an idea that I’ve had for a long time. I have strengthened my skills and knowledge, tested ideas and forged collaborations that would not have been available to me working as a lone artist. In just 6 months my dream has come to realisation and on Friday 24 May my Earthly Arts Studio will open. This is just the start as heritage and creativity begin to meet the community and I am now piloting ideas for a local heritage project in Corby.”

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Suzanne Oliver is the University’s Heritage Partnerships and Projects Officer. She adds: “Heritage Accelerator is such a wonderfully unique opportunity for Heritage practitioners working in Corby. Being built around each cohort, it has enabled individuals the time, space, and support to really consider their practice and heritage focus. We have been able to build new partnerships with many key heritage organisations in the north of the county and are seeing new approaches and ambitious ideas develop to engage the wider community in our rich heritage.

“I have no idea what the second cohort will bring and that is what makes this project so exciting. Who knows what new partnerships we will be celebrating in just a few months time!”

The closing date for second cohort applications is Friday 24 May 2024. Interviews for possible practitioners will be held on Monday 3 June.

For more information and to request an application pack, email [email protected]

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Part of Suzanne’s projects includes the development of a Heritage Skills Hub for Northamptonshire. The Skills Hub works in dialogue with local heritage practitioners and organisations and educators, regional delivery partners and colleagues, and offers needs-driven online and physical training sessions and events.

There are workshops coming up where interested practitioners – whether staff and students of University of Northampton or not – can sign up to take part.