Historians also get some lotto cash for digital ‘story telling’

LOTTERY organisers have awarded nearly £525,000 to an organisation that wants to research and explain the history and heritage of Halifax and the Upper Calder Valley.

The Pennine Horizons project, based at the Birchcliffe Centre, Hebden Bridge, will create a digital archive that will enable anyone to access detailed historic information about the district.

Chairman Frank Woolrych, who is also president of Hebden Bridge Local History Group, said: “The society and Pennine Heritage already have a massive collection of documents, photographs and oral history records, to which has been added the famous Alice Longstaff photographic collection.

“This will lay the foundation for a better understanding of the remarkable heritage of this part of the world.” The £600,000 project also has backing from Hebden Royd Town Council, Hebden Bridge Rotary Club, several major businesses in the town and Todmorden Lions.

Information will be made available in print, on-line, through a series of heritage trails, on DVDs and through events for schools and adults.

Part of the Birchcliffe Centre will be converted into a learning centre with a lecture theatre, exhibition and performance space.

Travelling exhibitions with electronic monitors will be created for use in libraries, museums, community centres, pubs, schools and care homes.

Pennine Heritage boss David Fletcher, said “In the 17th century, Halifax and the Calder Valley was the richest place in the world, with more millionaires than anywhere else.

“We want to tell people how the first ever factories were built here, how new skills and methods of production were developed and how new routes were opened to world markets.”