Cotesbach project wins heritage award

Katherine Brown, project director at the Cotesbach Educational Trust and John Turner, chairman of trustees.

Katherine Brown, project director at the Cotesbach Educational Trust and John Turner, chairman of trustees.

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An educational charity from the Harborough district has won a county award for its engrossing heritage work.

Cotesbach Educational Trust teaches young people about the environment, local history, heritage and the arts at its Grade II-listed Victorian schoolhouse and adjacent buildings, near Lutterworth.

The trust was invited to the joint Leicestershire and Rutland Heritage Forum and Leicestershire County Council Heritage Awards last month, held at Leicester University’s museum studies department.

Despite stiff competition, the Cotesbach trust won an award in the ‘Bringing Heritage Alive’ category.

The trust’s winning project was its Re-Writing the Archives programme from last year, an Arts Council and county council-funded scheme.

Katherine Brown, the trust’s project director, explained: “Five professional UK writers delved into our unique archive and each produced a short audio drama based on their discoveries.

“Plays were recorded by a professional acting ensemble and aired at vintage tea parties and on a specially designed micro-websites.

“The trust is over the moon to have received the award.

“We have over 6,000 documents preserved within our archive and every one of them has a story to tell. By working with experienced creatives we have combined heritage and the arts to bring alive our work for a whole new audience.

“This new award shines a light on just one area of the trust’s work and we are now looking for new trustees to join our organisation and look to the future.”

To find out more about the trust or becoming a trustee, visit its website at www.cotesbachschoolhouse.org.uk.

The trust was established in 2009 and has access to family documents dating back 400 years. It hosts visits from school groups and holds a number of heritage and open days throughout the year, as well as aiming to develop an alternative curriculum for youngsters who have been excluded from mainstream schools.

The Re-Writing the Archives micro-websites are also still accessible via the trust’s website.