National Lottery Grant Boost for Birmingham Civic Society Centenary Celebrations
Members and supporters of Birmingham Civic Society (BCS) are celebrating after receiving National Lottery support towards events and activities in their 2018 Centenary year.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a National Lottery grant of £55,700 towards the 'The City Beautiful' project to celebrate and commemorate the centenary of the Society.
The centenary programme in 2018 will include a Young People’s Blue Plaque film project, an outdoor temporary exhibition in the city centre, a citywide heritage trail, conserving the statue of Queen Victoria in Victoria Square, installing four new blue plaques to notable citizens, and delivering a whole range of tours, talks, and family activities throughout 2018.
Gavin Orton, Chairman of the Society said:
“The National Lottery grant is fantastic news as it will greatly increase the scope of heritage activities we can deliver during our Centenary year. Whilst we will of course be celebrating our past achievements, just as importantly we want work with young people to explore some of the hidden histories of the city and invite their views and hopes for the present and future of Birmingham. We want our centenary project to reflect the changing face of our great city and look forward to the next 100 years.”
The Society has a proud record of achievement in preserving and celebrating the city’s heritage. In the 1920s and 30s it raised significant funds to purchase and donate substantial areas of land to the city’s public parks. Later on the Society was also instrumental in preserving a number of familiar Birmingham statues, most notably those of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, Joseph Sturge and Joseph Priestley.
It was thanks to the Society that Birmingham Cathedral’s world-famous Burne-Jones windows were removed into safe storage at the outbreak of the Second World War. The cathedral was subsequently badly damaged by bombing during the Birmingham Blitz and so without the Civic Society’s intervention these superb works of art would have been lost for ever. More recently, the society has planted nearly 70,000 trees through the Trees for Life programme and over 26,500 students have taken part in the Next Generation Awards.
Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “The Birmingham Civic Society has played a leading role in championing and saving Birmingham’s heritage over the last century. I’m delighted that thanks to National Lottery players we can support the Society to celebrate their achievements and engage the community, particularly young people, with the city’s rich history through a great programme of events.”