Launch of Mearns Heritage Project

the Forest View Centre will officially launch its third heritage project on Wednesday, August 24,involving people with learning disabilities in all aspects of the project.

This innovative and community based ‘Mearns Heritage Project’ will run for two years and is jointly supported by LEADER funding and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Coinciding with the 30 years of provision of services for adults by Forest View Centre, the project will research and develop Mearns heritage from 1980 to the present day.

The number 30 will be the keystone for the project – celebrating 30 years of service to adults with learning disabilities and 30 years of key developments and trends in the Mearns.

The project will also visit and work in 30 villages in the Mearns to gather research and provide exhibitions of local history and research findings from all of the local communities.

Claire Will, manager of the Forest View Centre, said: “We are delighted and grateful to have been recognised and funded by LEADER and the Heritage Lottery Fund, to continue to build on the success of previous projects such as the Woodview Heritage Project, and the highly successful Father of the Bard Project. “We have built up a lot of experience in heritage matters, and have found innovative ways of involving service users in all aspects of project management and development.”

Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson said: “This is an exciting project which sees history as a dialogue between the past and the present. By looking back, even to recent history, there are many lessons to be learned for today. And there is no better way to take such projects forward than by engaging with communities and harnessing their thoughts, views and collective memory.”

The project will research areas such as music, fashion, fishing, farming, business development, lifestyle and quality of life in the Mearns over the last 30 years.

Mini exhibitions, providing feedback on the research to date, will be held in all the main rural communities, on a regular basis, and will culminate in a major fashion and music exhibition in year two of the project.

The project will also be able to explore the potential for greater community involvement, for people with learning disabilities, and contribute to education, training and work experience.

Dave Ramsay, who worked on the Father of the Bard project, has been appointed as project officer, to draw the various strands of the project together.

Community volunteers, from organisations to individuals will be welcomed into the project, as a means of ensuring an integrated community approach to heritage, using local skills, knowledge and experience in all of the 30 villages.

Any individual or organisation wishing to volunteer to be part of the new Project should contact Dave Ramsay in the first instance.

For more information contact Claire Will on 01569 764545 or email claire.will@aberdeenshire.gov.uk, or Dave Ramsay on 01561 340668 or email dave.ramsay@aberdeenshire.gov.uk