Funding has been awarded to a heritage project in Derby which highlights the link between Derby County Football Club (founded in 1884) and the role it has played in the city’s social history, as part of Historic England’s ‘Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working-Class Histories.’

The new grant scheme was launched by Historic England earlier this year to support community-led projects and further the nation’s collective understanding of the past. Community and heritage organisations were invited to apply for grants to unlock untold local stories and hidden histories. The project, We.Are.Derby is a partnership between Writing East Midlands and the RamsTrust, and will be led by poet and spoken word artist Jamie Thrasivoulou. He is an award-winning writer who has been commissioned by the BBC, ITV and National Poetry Day, and is the official poet for Derby County FC. The grant will enable a range of stories about the club to be researched and shared through live performances, public installations and traditional and social media. Derby County Football Club was one of the original football league members and as such is steeped in the tradition of the Midlands’ industries. People’s feelings and experiences around the club will be documented via the theme of ‘What does Derby County mean to me?’

Jim Wheeler, Chair of RamsTrust said:

RamsTrust is really pleased the project group has secured funding for the We.Are.Derby project and is looking forward to seeing it to fruition. The past year has been harrowing for all supporters with the constant threat that the club they love may no longer exist. This has reaffirmed how important Derby County is to thousands of people and their communities. Now is the perfect time to capture those stories and emotions and create a range of media to preserve their feelings for future generations. We hope all supporters will contribute to the project and make it a true reflection of what being a Derby County fan means to us all.

Henderson Mullin, CEO of Writing East Midlands said:

At Writing East Midlands we work hard to make opportunities for people from all walks of life to tell their stories, and engage in creative activity with each other. Just days after football received such a massive shot in the arm from Sunday’s fantastic heroics, we are even more delighted to have secured this funding for We.Are.Derby, which will remind people how important football clubs are to their communities, and for their potential to be at the forefront of a more open, inclusive, society.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said:

“Heritage should be for everyone. I am delighted that we are able to provide funding for this project through our Everyday Heritage Grants, which will help to bring our collective and shared history back to life. These grants will enable people to tell their own stories, in their own way, and connect with others in their communities through a shared understanding of their local heritage. He continued: “The histories of castles and great houses and their inhabitants are well documented, but we know far less about our everyday heritage. From council estates, pubs and clubs, to farms, factories and shipyards, these are the places where most people have lived, worked and played for hundreds of years. We want to explore these untold stories and celebrate the people and places at the heart of our history.” Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working-Class Histories is one of many ongoing cultural projects that Historic England is delivering in order to shine a light on the diversity of the nation’s heritage. 

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