Norwich & Norfolk Festival Will Lead New Common Ground Project To Inspire Young People To Celebrate Their Cultural And Natural Heritage

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Norfolk & Norwich Festival has received National Lottery Heritage Fund support for their Common Ground project. Made possible by National Lottery players, Common Ground will inspire new forms of heritage interpretation, enabling young people to generate and present new and unconventional ideas about heritage.

A partnership project led by the Norfolk & Norwich Festival with Norfolk and Suffolk Wildlife Trusts, National Trust, SHARE Museums East and the Prince's Trust, Common Ground has been awarded £529,500 for work over the next 3 years.

The project will focus on working with young people aged 11-25 building new skills, confidence, a sense of belonging and community connectivity; by taking part in creative activities, volunteering and placements, young people will be supported by heritage specialists to celebrate their own ideas of heritage through the events and activities they create. By the end of 2022 Common Ground will have engaged creatively and digitally with more than 3,000 young people and their families around East Anglia, delivered 100 community and heritage-based activities across coastal, rural and urban areas, trained 500 people and supported 1,500 young people to co-create and promote new heritage experiences with artists and designers.

Common Ground will focus activity on: Carlton Marshes (Suffolk Wildlife Trust), Lowestoft; Flag Fen Bronze Age Archaeology Park (Vivacity Culture and Leisure), Peterborough; Gaywood Valley Living Landscape (Norfolk Wildlife Trust), King's Lynn and West Norfolk; Ipswich Museum (accredited museum, supported by SHARE Museums East), Ipswich; Peckover House and Garden (The National Trust), Wisbech.

Sustainability is a key aspect of Common Ground and the project, which will include organisational learning and development as well as training, work experience and the Arts Award for young people.

Daniel Brine, Festival Director said: "At Norfolk & Norwich Festival we're delighted to have received this funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Projects like this are important because they help us build an identity for our local communities and to create a sense of place. Common Ground, in particular, is special because it will empower young people to be the leaders at the forefront of interpreting their local heritage and creating our community identity for the future."

Michael Corley, Head of Bridge, Norfolk & Norwich Festival said: "In East Anglia we've a wealth of fantastic heritage that isn't always open and accessible to all young people. We want to create positive and lasting change by support young people to create and perform new stories about their natural heritage and local culture. By fostering the creativity and celebrating the diversity of those who take part, our project will contextualise local heritage for young people and in the process develop their awareness and ownership of the fantastic heritage around East Anglia."

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