Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 23 July 2007 at the Wigan History Shop


John O'Neil (councillor), Max Finney (Friends of Wigan Heritage/Over 50s forum), Emma Scott (Community Empowerment Programme), Peter Taylor (Civic Trust), Margery Harrop (Leigh Family History Society), Barbara Rhodes (Aspull & Haigh History Society), Michael Walker (L&CT), Joe Taylor (Billinge History/Heritage Society) & Peter Guy (Gin Pit Village)


Phillip Butler, John Hesketh, Tom Price, Jason Kennedy

Minutes of Last Meeting: There were several minor mistakes in the draft of the previous minutes which Emma will correct then they will be posted on the website.

Matters Arising:

Re Fred Holcroft: Joe will speak to Tom Price about the wording of a memorial plaque, check with the family and then pass on the information to the craftsman. Billinge History/Heritage will pay for the plaque and whoever wishes can make a contribution.

Philip was unavailable to enlighten the meeting about what has happened to the plaque for the Wigan Grammar School.

There was some discussion about how Heritage Network should get involved in updating the BLINT list. This could be via the Township Forums or local heritage groups. We will seek clarification from Jason Kennedy on the necessary criteria. Peter Guy suggested that GPS equipment would be very useful on such a project.

John O'Neil explained more about the Greenheart Regional Park project, which will make a significant impact to the region in the coming years.

Report From Members:

Peter Guy reported that there's an archaeological dig going on at Gin Pit Village

Margery Harrop will meet with Tony Ashcroft to set up a help desk for people wishing to research family history. This will be available at both the History Shop and Leigh Library

Emma Scott informed the meeting that there would be All Network meeting at Ince Community Centre 30 July at 5 pm (food provided) at that everyone is invited.

A project called 'Tribes of Leigh' is working on a project about immigration to Leigh. Max Finney has information that might be useful. Emma to advise Sian Jay that Max could be involved in the project.

Progress with the DVD and Education:

John Hesketh is away and Peter Goodwin is unobtainable at the moment so a full report will be given at the next meeting.

Curating in the Community:

Michael Walker reported that L&CT's Heritage Service is now launching the Curating in the Community scheme, which is about supporting groups in the community to celebrate and develop local heritage activities. Support could come through advice, training, help with local events, and a small pool of funds has been set aside for this scheme, with some funding from Renaissance North West (the regional 'hub' museum organisation).
It has been decided that there should be a 'soft launch' for this first round, taking the proposal to the Heritage Network, encouraging them to stimulate and encourage applications for projects and support - to be returned by September 10th.
Particular interest will be given to projects in 2007 that will be undertaken: in Leigh, Wigan South and Orrell/Billinge/Winstanley, or with inter-generational activity, or involving ethnic minority communities, as these in L&CT's 'Heritage Vision' are the initial priority communities of place and interest. In 2008 and 2009, other townships or areas will be given priority.

This does not mean that applications from other areas will be discounted, just that L&CT are looking to encourage interest in areas of particular social need and where there is currently a heritage 'momentum'. L&CT then envisage having a further round of applications later in the autumn, when they would go more 'public', publicising the scheme through Borough Life and other media points. In spring 2008 L&CT aim to kick off a fresh round, with a showcase event looking back over projects supported in 2007 and forward to a new round.

It is a scheme we hope will become sustainable over the next 2-3 years and perhaps beyond, one that might well have some real impact on communities.

The criteria and application process documents to be made available on the Heritage Network's website.

Next Meeting: Friday 7th September 11 am Wigan History Shop.