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Acocks Green Wins Heritage Lottery Support Fund

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PROPOSED ACOCKS GREEN HERITAGE TRAIL WINS HERITAGE LOTTERY SUPPORT FUND

The Acocks Green Village Partnership (AGVP) working alongside the Acocks Green History Society and the Village Business Improvement District (BID) has been successful in receiving a £34,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting new project which will bring lots more visitors into the area as well as being an added bonus for the community, and an educational extra for the local schools.

Led by volunteers from the local community, the Acocks Green Heritage Trail takes in the Village and wider area and will incorporate public display boards depicting 150 years of local history including the places and people that made the town what it is today.

The display boards will describe the history of Acocks Green, and a leaflet showing the location of the boards and online guided walks. The trail will celebrate the buildings and individuals of the area.

The AGVP brings together the key groups in Acocks Green that make up the volunteers involved in this project.  Mike Byrne, former Village librarian and member of the Acocks Green History Society said “We are delighted to be involved in this project, and it’s fantastic that so many more people are going to enjoy the photographs that the history society has gathered over many years”, he added,

“We have a rich history here, for example, Acocks Green was a rural backwater until the arrival of the railway in the early 1850s. Businessmen and wealthy individuals had large houses built near the station and a sophisticated social life developed over the next 30 years. The Edwardian era saw another surge in population as middle-class workers came to occupy large numbers of new houses. Inter-war municipal estates produced another increase, and a vibrant shopping area with around two hundred businesses thrived for many years”.

Chair of the AGVP David Treadwell said “Here in Acocks Green we feel very passionate about our heritage, and with the grant from HLF, we can create a visual history via the trail that the community and visitors can enjoy for years to come. We feel it’s also important that the schools are aware of Acocks Green’s eventful and surprising history and they learn to love and appreciate the place where they live”.

Also commenting on the award, Ian Jeffries, Acocks Green business owner and Vice Chair of the Acocks Green Village BID said “we are thrilled to have received the award, and from our point of view as a business improvement district, the history trail will be another reason for people to come into Acocks Green; to enjoy the trail, learn about our history, and then back to the Village to visit our wonderful array of shops and enjoy a coffee in one of our great cafes! It is hoped that this will encourage more people to spend time and shop in the Village centre, which will boost our local economy. ”

Reyahn King, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we have been able to support this fine example of local people and organisations banding together to research the history of their village and then disseminate their findings by various means to the local community and visitors alike.”

The history trail in Acocks Green will be officially launched at Acocks Green library in December, with a mulled wine and mince pie reception, with a string quartet and Christmas Carols from the Kimichi School in Acocks Green.