Exciting new project to showcase Halesworth’s history is given a funding boost

The project, run by New Cut Arts, has been awarded over £65000 of Heritage funding. Simon Raven, Vi

The project, run by New Cut Arts, has been awarded over £65000 of Heritage funding. Simon Raven, Vic Gray and Aafke Groeneveld in the old maltings PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A heritage project celebrating Halesworth’s history has been given thousands of pounds of funding to get it off the ground.

The project will honour the malting industry in and around the town, and has been awarded £65,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It will be led by New Cut Arts, the charity which runs The Cut arts centre, who will be working with Halesworth and District Museum with support from Halesworth Town Council and other local voluntary groups on the project, entitled MALT.

It will chronicle the rise and decline of the malting industry in north east Suffolk.

Chairman of the MALT steering group Simon Raven said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are confident that the project will encourage a feeling of local pride in our industrial heritage as well as providing another fascinating reason for visitors to spend time in the Blyth Valley.”

The centrepiece of the project will be an immersive experience at The Cut which will give visitors the chance to experience what it would have been like to work in the building in the 1890s when it was a traditional maltings.

There will be a virtual fly through recreation of the original New Cut Maltings, dramatised scenes from the local history of the maltings industry performed by young people from the Mouth Youth Academy and an illustrated account of the history and workings of the East Anglian Maltings industry.

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A heritage trail will then lead from the building on New Cut taking visitors to various points around the town where they can discover other aspects of the story for themselves.

Mr Raven said: “It has huge potential, and it’s not just about The Cut building, the idea is you walk in and you have this immersive experience, but then it’s really the trail which will tell the story of Halesworth as a maltings town.”

The steering group hopes local volunteers will help research the story, and will give them training in research techniques to gather archival evidence.

The researchers will also produce a digital archive of what remains of Halesworth’s malting trade and associated brewing industry, created by local amateur photographers.

It will create study materials for use by local schools and the general public based on both the experience and the trail.

The first volunteers will be trained in May, and the whole project is due to finish in September 2017, in time for the National Heritage Open Weekend.

Centre manager at The Cut Aafke Groeneveld said she thought it was a ‘very exciting’ project.

“Hopefully it will get whole new groups of people coming into The Cut and into the town, and I think it will be very much a group effort with lots of organisations in the town. I’m very excited about it”

Have you got a Halesworth story? Email polly.grice@archant.co.uk