The power and relevance of local history was celebrated by National Trust’s Director General Helen Ghosh and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale, among others, last night at the Heritage Open Days launch party, held at the national headquarters of RIBA in London.
Helen spoke to an audience of heritage stakeholders and Heritage Open Days organisers, to highlight the Trust’s increased support for the four-day festival of history, which takes place annually in September.
Also speaking at the event was Jo Bucci, Managing Director of People’s Postcode Lottery, whose players have awarded £150k of funding to Heritage Open Days in 2015. “This event is a great example of how communities can work together effectively,” she said, adding that “Heritage Open Days empowers people to create fun and engaging events for families to enjoy all over the country.”
Many of the attendees were Heritage Open Days’ organisers, some of whom took part in an engaging Q&A with the National Trust’s Visitor Experience Manager Denise Foster. Hearing them speak with real passion about what motivates them to take part, and the rewards that come with hosting a Heritage Open Days event, was one of the highlights of the evening.
Heritage Open Days welcomed three million visitors to over 4,500 events in 2014 and we hope to top those figures this September. This year the dates are 10th-13th September, and information on all the events registered can be found at www.heritageopendays.org.uk.