Sheffield’s heritage experts are forming a plan to protect and promote the city’s many historic sites.
A number of action points were agreed at a meeting of Joined Up Heritage Sheffield today (July 26), as the group tries to come up with a city-wide strategy.
Key targets include getting people to care about heritage sites before they reach ‘crisis’ point and campaigns are needed to save them, engaging with council planners and creating a list of every site in Sheffield.
Immediate projects such as setting up social media accounts and setting deadlines for work on the strategy were also discussed.
Jon Bradley, from Manor Lodge, is one of those leading the group. He said: “It’s all about getting people involved in heritage before it becomes a crisis. If we are going to get young people involved it’s going to be through social media.”
The idea for a strategy came from a conference in April, when scores of people passionate about their own heritage sites decided a city-wide approach was needed.
Since then the group has been carrying out preliminary research and considering the direction the strategy should take.
Liz Godfrey, one of the Heritage Open Days organisers, said this year’s event in September would be used as a pilot to gather data about the kind of visitors Sheffield attracts. This would then be used to help funding applications.
Mr Bradley called the idea a ‘unique opportunity to get a snapshot of visitors to Sheffield heritage sites’.
Joy Bullivant, co-ordinator for the Timewalk guided walk project, said it was important to have a list of every heritage site in the city – but finding a way to gather them all was proving difficult. Coun Ian Saunders, heritage champion for Sheffield Council, said he hoped to restart a similar project.
Mr Bradley revealed a bid had been submitted to Sheffield Town Trust for £3,000 toward the cost of employing ‘skilled professional help’ to devise the strategy. More applications are likely to be submitted soon.
And a plan to turn Joined Up Heritage Sheffield into a ‘start-up’ organisation, with a defined structure and objectives, was discussed. This would include a five-year plan and a heritage conference in 2017, at which the strategy might be launched.
A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund could be used to kick-start the process.
Other suggestions included commercial sponsorship, a marketing strategy, links with culture and leisure and working more with the universities.
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