Press Release - 30th March 2010

Press Release - 30th March 2010

Heritage Lottery Fund Development Grant Awarded to Expanding Community Archive -

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a development grant of £2,600.00 to help the Plymouth Barbican Association South West Image Bank work towards a round 2 application for funding. SWiB has successfully passed a round 1 application and can now progress to round 2 of the HLF application process. They have up to three months to submit more detailed plans and apply for the £105,654.00 of HLF support that they are seeking for their project.

SWiB has grown remarkably since being set up by the Plymouth Barbican Association in 2007. Heritage Lottery Funding was first acquired at that time specifically to digitise over twenty thousand Western Morning News negatives and to develop the archive to allow for immediate public access to that collection. Since then, the photographic archive - which has been funded entirely by the Association; through income generated by copy orders; and through a series of small external community grants to support specific exhibition projects - has subsequently acquired over one hundred collections; has delivered some twenty six external talks; dealt with some six hundred individual research enquiries and offered opportunities for learning to thirty volunteers including college and university students and individuals with learning difficulties.

The Association has sought funding from the HLF to help towards the relocation of their archive from a small sixteenth century town house situated in a quiet area of the Barbican to a more suitable and larger property in the very heart of the Barbican. The primary reason for relocation of the Image Bank is to allow the archive to respond adequately to increasing public demand on their services and in doing so provide significantly improved access to and interpretation of the region’s visual heritage.

The project, if approved at round 2 of the application process, will see the design and implementation of a large communal research facility from within the proposed new site, a formal onsite gallery and visual interpretation area, and the creation of a fixed-term outreach post to deliver an extensive programme of planned community based activities in collaboration with other heritage and educational establishments.

Stacey Dyer, Archive Manager said: “Preservation of and access to the collections in our care will always remain at the core of what we do, however, we are now at the stage whereby the true public value of our work can only be fully realised through relocation to a larger site. There is still a vast amount of work to do before we can even begin to consider implementing our objectives but it doesn’t hurt to have a vision of what we intend to achieve. At the end of the proposed two year project, it is hoped the archive will exist as a sustainable centre of excellence for research and experimentation in archival and lens based media, providing a point of departure for new and existing audiences to engage with, inspire, create and interpret the rich visual heritage of our city and surrounding localities.”

Chris Robinson, a Director of the Association said: “The Plymouth Barbican Association is delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund continues to find value in the development of the South West Image Bank. The directors of the Association have been thrilled with the progress that the Image Bank has made over the last three years, not only with regard to the ever increasing number of enquiries it is receiving and the number of photographic collections it is acquiring, but also with regard to the growing band of happy volunteers who are working on the cataloguing and scanning of the collections. The award of HLF funding would enable the Image Bank to realise further potential sooner than anticipated and, in the short term, to deliver an ever-more accessible facility to the local and to the wider community, thus building on the already excellent foundations created since 2007.”

Nerys Watts, Head of Region, HLF said: “The Image Building project is a fantastic resource and we are so pleased to help bring it to life. HLF is dedicated to opening up heritage resources to as many people as possible, and this project will enable everyone to explore a huge variety of images of Plymouth and the South West.”

During the development phase of the project, the SWiB Archive Manager will consultant with various groups and individuals to inform their round 2 application. A volunteer team meeting will be held at the Plymouth Arts Centre on the 30th April 2010 to discuss the impact of project proposals.

For further information please contact: Stacey Dyer, Archivist/Manager of the South West Image Bank, (01752) 665445 / email: moc.tcennoctb|knabegamiWS#moc.tcennoctb|knabegamiWS / Website:

Note for editors:

*The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our diverse heritage. From our great museums and historic buildings to local parks and beauty spots or recording and celebrating traditions, customs and history, HLF grants open up our nation’s heritage for everyone to enjoy. Since 1994 it has supported more than 26,000 projects, allocating over £4 billion across the UK.

*A first-round pass means the specified project meets the HLF criteria for funding and they believe it has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. However, a first-round pass does not guarantee the applicant will receive a grant as the second-round application will still be in competition for funding.

*The Plymouth Barbican Association Ltd. (PBA) was formed as a not for profit charitable trust to acquire, preserve and manage a portfolio of acquired historic properties in the city. The Association is funded entirely from income generated by renting and leasing those properties. Established in 1957 to preserve and protect these buildings from demolition the Association was one of the first bodies of its kind to be formed and to date it has been one of the most successful.

Further Links:

HLF Project - Background & Overview
HLF Pre-Project Delivery, Planning & Development
HLF Project Delivery - Further Development Work
Press Release (HLF Project) - 17th January 2011
News feature - 22nd January 2011


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