Sunderland sails ahead with £95,000 boost for art and culture

Coun John Kelly.
Coun John Kelly.
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Sunderland has secured a £95,000 boost to encourage art and heritage projects linked to The Tall Ships Races.

Delighted city officials welcomed the sum from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It will go towards getting the public involved in everything from learning traditional skills to researching historic material about the area they live in.

Councillor John Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, at Sunderland City Council.

Councillor John Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, at Sunderland City Council.

Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “We want to raise aspirations, and The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the city at a time when culture and heritage is playing such a significant role.”

A cultural and heritage programme has been devised with a title of Made For the Open Seas – Harbouring Heritage.

Communities will get to research, design, plan and interpret historic material linked to their area.

People on the scheme will work with commissioned heritage and art professionals. They will get to learn traditional skills such as theatre, drama, or volunteering, as well as gaining in-depth knowledge into the heritage of Sunderland.

With so much on offer I’d like to see as many people as possible from across the city, taking part and making the most of this unparalleled opportunity

John Kelly

Coun Kelly added: “With so much on offer I’d like to see as many people as possible from across the city, taking part and making the most of this unparalleled opportunity.”

One example is a scheme called Set the Sails. It will bring skilled craftsmen together with young people and community groups to share past skills and knowledge. Officials say that, at a time when traditional skills such as boat building and carpentry are not high on the learning agenda, it’s a real opportunity for young people to gain valuable insight into trades that shaped the city.

Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “Building on the excitement created by the City of Culture 2021 bid, next year’s Tall Ships Races will continue to shine the spotlight on Sunderland’s incredible heritage.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re delighted to support this project which will enable people of all ages to get involved in their city’s past share its stories and try their hand at traditional skills and creative activities.”