Waterlooville Placemarker project wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

A part of Waterlooville that two centuries ago supplied the timber to build Nelson’s warships is to be studied by local young people.

The Placemarker project, which will enable the young researchers to explore, identify and record the heritage of the West of Waterlooville Major Development Area, where 3,000 new homes are being built, has secured £10,600 of Heritage Lottery Funding following a successful bid by Hampshire Museums and Galleries Trust.

The West of Waterlooville Major Development Area spreads across the two local authority areas of Winchester and Havant. The Placemarker project is also funded by section 106 contributions, negotiated by Winchester City Council and Havant Borough Council, from the housing developer, Taylor Wimpey. The project will be managed by Hampshire Museums and Galleries Trust, a self-funding charitable organisation which secures additional funding for heritage projects.

Before being cleared for farming the West of Waterlooville area was part of the Royal Forest of Bere and provided the trees from which Nelson’s ships at Trafalgar were built. The loss of this landscape and its history needs to be recorded for the benefit of the new community that is taking up residence. As well as making contact with the families who farmed the land, participants in the project will research natural history, historical records, maps and archaeology to build a sense of place for themselves and their new community.

The young people will create a cultural resource that is available to a wide audience as a smart phone app enabling audio, video, still images and text to be accessed via gps technology giving a view into the past at various locations in the newly-built development.

The participants will also record their own views and those of their families as 'first occupiers' of a new community, creating an archive for the future
that records the current process of transformation and building a sense of identity.

Cllr Kirk Phillips, Chair of the West of Waterlooville Arts Panel that advises how the Section 106 income is spent to benefit the new community, said:

These young people will gain new skills in designing and producing an app for smart phones as well as learning how to present heritage information in an engaging way. The establishment of a Parish Council is an important event for this new community and the Placemarker project will be part of the transition to becoming a place with pride in its own identity.

Stuart McLeod, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East England, said: “This project, funded under our Young Roots programme, gives those taking part the chance to uncover, explain and preserve the historic significance of what will become a new settlement.”

Young people aged 14 to 24 living in the West of Waterlooville Major Development area wishing to take part in the project should contact Jaime Bridges, Havant Borough Council’s Community Development Officer, at Jaime.Bridges@havant.gov.uk