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Council initiatives nominated for NI Heritage Angel Awards

03 October 2018
Two Derry City and Strabane District Council supported initiatives are in contention for the prestigious Northern Ireland Heritage Angel Awards that will be hosted in the city for the first time next month.
The Awards seek to celebrate the efforts of people who go to extraordinary lengths to protect, save and share their local heritage and will be held in the Guildhall on Tuesday November 6th.
The Walled City Partnership’s Walled City Townscape Heritage Initiative has been nominated for the Best Major Regenerations of an Historic Place worth over £2 million award at the event while the City Cemetery Record Access Project is in contention for the Best Heritage Research, Interpretation or Recording title.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, congratulated both projects on their recognition.
“I would like to congratulate all the nominees who have been shortlisted in the five categories for these prestigious awards and in particular the two local nominees among them,” he said,
“Both the Walled City Townscape Heritage Initiative and the City Cemetery Record Access Project have played important roles in enhancing and preserving our past for future generations and I am delighted that they have been recognised.
“The awards are an ideal way to recognise and acknowledge the selfless contribution of the many groups and individuals who promote and celebrate our local heritage, work that often goes unseen behind the scenes.
“As a Council area we are proud to be hosting the ceremony and the Guildhall’s Main Hall will prove a fitting backdrop to the event.”
The Walled City Townscape Heritage Initiative is a heritage led regeneration project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund that is responsible for the investment of over £10 million into the repair and restoration of over 30 historic buildings in Derry.
The driving force behind it are the volunteers at the Foyle Civic Trust whose aim was to create a unique sense of place in the city centre and an appreciation of the city’s built heritage.
The City Cemetery Record Access Project aims to preserve and record the valuable burial registers of the Derry City Cemetery to allow people to trace their ancestry.
It is led and managed by the Tower Museum working in partnership with Council colleagues at the City Cemetery.
Using the cemeteries written records more than 40 volunteers have charted the information of everyone buried in the cemetery from 1853 until 1916.
In addition to bringing this resource to the public, the project has allowed volunteers to develop their computer literacy and knowledge of local history, and it has also sparked off a desire to work up until the 1968 records, taking in the other graveyards across the region.
A carefully selected panel of judges are deciding on the award winners in each category and members of the public can cast their vote for their choice from the shortlist online until Friday October 19th at www.heritageangelawards-ni.org.uk.
Tickets for the awards ceremony are free and booking is online at www.uahs.org.uk/events.
The event will also celebrate ‘Heritage in Song and Word’, where local artists including Brigid O’Neill; Glenn Patterson; Eilidh Patterson and Eoin O’Callaghan will perform material around the heritage theme.
The Awards are funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation; Derry and Strabane District Council and the Department for Communities.  An overall UK winner will be selected and celebrated at the London ceremony on Tuesday 27th November.