City Mayor releases new vision to safeguard Leicester’s heritage

By Izzi Rix and Holly Hume

The City Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, has revealed new proposals to protect the city’s heritage.

On Monday evening, he presented to the Heritage Partnership his plan for future projects and a financial sustainability strategy.

He tweeted early on Monday morning, “Presenting proposals to the Heritage Partnership on how we are transforming and improving #museums and the arts in #Leicester. Looking forward to discuss with our partners. @dmuleicester @civicsociety @leicsCathederal @uniofleicester”.

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The focus will be on creating stronger links with St Nicholas Church, the development of an interactive website for the Jewry Wall project and a Roman Leicester trail.

The 2018-23 Financial Sustainability Strategy discusses:

  • gaining eligibility for grants from trusts and foundations
  • increasing their capacity for fundraising
  • generating income to support services and corporate objectives
  • maximising digital giving
  • claiming gift aid
  • and facilitating tax efficient giving.

The City Mayor proposed creating a fundraising vehicle to increase resources for the Arts and Museums service development work, which includes festivals and event programme, exhibitions, community engagement, health and wellbeing and making the city’s heritage more accessible.

The final discussion of the night was Sir Peter’s ‘ambition to make New Walk the Pre-eminent flagship museum for the region’.

The presentation also focused on several different sites and projects already completed and underway, funded through a series of grants and city council funding.

The projects Sir Peter presented to the Heritage Partnership which have been completed included the Ancient Egypt Gallery which was funded by the Wolfson grant of £145,000 secured in 2016 and £50,000 of Council funding.

A statue of leading suffragette Alice Hawkins at Market Place and a Votes for Women exhibition in her honour at New Walk museum.

A redevelopment project at Abbey pumping station which involved tidying up the site and enhancing the facilities for visitors.

According to the Leicester Heritage Action Plan, the aim of the partnership is to ‘engage organisations and individuals from across Leicester to work with the Council in promoting the preservation, creative use and interpretation of the city’s historic built environment.’

Some of Sir Peter’s other key heritage investments have been Cathedral Gardens, the King Richard III visitor centre, and the Jubilee Square.

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Leicester Council Budget for 2018/19

The city centre has been transformed over the years by his work; Silver Street, New Walk, Applegate, and Welford road have all benefit from new paving, shrubbery and pedestrian friendly links throughout.

More information about projects and proposals to improve the city’s museums and heritage can be found in the action plan. https://www.leicester.gov.uk/media/180099/heritage-action-plan-2017-2022.pdf

 

 

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