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Great Place Scheme 2017 - 2020

Northern Heartlands was originally one of 16 Great Place Schemes – funded jointly by Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund – which came out of the landmark 2016 Culture White Paper.  Our Great Place Scheme in Co Durham focussed on the more rural areas of the county as well as some of the towns and villages of the former Durham coalfield area.  We worked with hundreds of local people - listening to their stories, building confidence, valuing their hopes and dreams, increasing their sense of pride in their place and its heritage - and providing some innovative and exciting events and creative activities along the way.  We also worked with a range of different partners at a strategic level, with an overall aim of building confidence and enabling the voices of our communities to be heard by those who make decisions on their behalf.

The work included a series of Speaker & Discussion Events: creative conference sessions involving community representatives, decision-makers, artists, thinkers and the business community who were all invited to come together to share ideas on issues ranging from Neighbourhood Planning to Hill Farming and from Tourism to Placemaking.

Our external evaluator described our Great Place Scheme as 'unique and ambitious'.  Read the report here

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