Project brings city suburb’s history to life

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A PROJECT to draw Sheffield communities closer to their local environment has been launched by MP David Blunkett.

Students, academics and residents of Shalesmoor, Neepsend, Kelham Island, Upperthorpe and Hillsborough are being urged to get involved with plastiCities, led by Dr Amanda Crawley Jackson from Sheffield University.

She said: “Our students have been working with local artists and residents to gather drawings, texts, photographs and memories of Sheffield and our longer-term aim is to transform disused or neglected spaces into places that the community can enjoy and interact with.”

The initiative includes working with groups such as Friends of Wardsend Cemetery to revive the historic graveyard.

Victims of the Great Sheffield flood of 1864 are laid to rest in Wardsend Cemetery along with George Lambert VC and soldiers who fought in both world wars.

Councillors, publishers, writers, researchers and representatives from community groups attended the launch event at the university’s Humanities Research Institute.

The project will curate a series of exhibitions.

A joint symposium with Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum, S1 and Site Gallery will take place at the university in June.

Mr Blunkett said: “For all of us a sense of identity and belonging is critical. Rejoicing in the history of our community and the often unrecognised outstanding heritage and environment helps to cement our well-being.”

Richard Wright, from Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “This city has a history built on entrepreneurism, quality and enterprise. Shalesmoor has the opportunity to be the centre of that again.”