A project that will help to bring traditional skills back to life and teach unemployed young people has been awarded almost £500,000 by the National Lottery.
Rockingham Forest Trust, which manages Stanwick Lakes, near Rushden, has been awarded £456,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The trust will run the four-year Trading Places project to benefit communities and young unemployed people living in towns and villages in Northamptonshire.
Trading Places will focus on the local trades, skills and lives of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in a colourful programme of heritage activities that are tailored to each of the 12 villages and towns of the Nene Valley.
Re-enactors, storytellers, crime historians and traditional crafts people will help communities and schools to connect with, enjoy and understand the history of their local area.
There are already plans to celebrate Irchester’s Victorian pork pie factory and to rediscover Irthlingborough’s former railway station.
Trading Places will also be setting up a traditional skills training programme for young unemployed people from the area.
An oak-framed training barn will be built at the Stanwick Lakes site and the project will train small groups in skills that include blacksmithing, shoe making and stonemasonry. A nationally recognised award will be offered to help the young people move towards employment or further training.
By playing the National Lottery people help raise £35m every week for good causes.
To see the difference this has made in your community visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk