Sharing Heritage Grant for Cousland Heritage Hub

Cousland Smiddy has received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Sharing Heritage grant, it was announced today. This exciting project, Cousland Heritage Hub at Cousland Smiddy, Cousland, Midlothian and led by Cousland Smiddy Trust and Cousland Local History Project has been given a £9,700.00 Sharing Heritage grant to:

·         Catalogue and conserve the archive held by Cousland Smiddy Trust and Cousland Local History project, creating a searchable database of          items.

·         Carry out repair works including damproofing the smiddy cottage, re-pointing the gable wall and installing a damp course throughout the building. The attic space will be insulated and floored to create secure storage. Restorative redecoration will be completed after repair works.

·         Provide regular open days and visits by appointment, alongside exhibitions, talks and an art project with local schools.

·         To increase volunteer numbers from 20 to 40, training people in skills such as archiving, databases, interpretation and conservation of artefacts.

Cousland Smiddy & Local Heritage Hub will work with local professionals, villagers and volunteers of all ages to repair & upgrade the Smith’s cottage at Cousland Smiddy providing a secure, dry environment in which to archive, store and display the joint collections of Cousland Smiddy & Cousland Local History project. The grant will teach how to digitally archive images, papers & historical artefacts and conserve them for public display & research purposes.

Commenting on the award, Sheena Irving, Chair of Cousland Smiddy Trust said: Cousland is such a fascinating place with historical connections back to the Iron Age, Mary Queen of Scots and the Battle of Prestonpans, to namedrop a few! Now we have the opportunity to properly archive and display the collection of the Local History Project in perfect context for locals, visitors and researchers, within the restored & upgraded smith’s cottage at the 18th Century Cousland Smiddy in the heart of the village. It will also provide a location for people to bring along their artefacts, images and local tales, in the knowledge that they will be archived into a secure collection within the Heritage Hub, which will be available for everyone to see.”

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland said: “Sharing Heritage is a wonderful opportunity for communities to delve into their local heritage. Cousland Heritage Hub is bursting with stories and pictures that give us clues about what life was like and how that has shaped the village into what it is today. We are delighted to be able to support a project which will protect and share this fascinating archive.”

This article was published on: Sunday, January 18, 2015