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Designs on the past

By Carey Newson

July 2018

“Why do these residents, looking to overcome serious local challenges, see heritage as part of their toolkit for local improvement? In each of the areas the primary answer has been a different one… but all view their heritage work as a way of generating pride in their area. People are turning to history to answer the question, “who are we really?” in a way that satisfies the demands of the present."

Carey Newson explores how four Big Local areas – Ramsey, Plaistow, Gateshead and Boston – are each tapping into unique local histories to reignite pride in their community. Heritage draws on issues of local identity and community cohesion by reminding people they are part of a story that began long before they were born and cannot be written for future generations without them.

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Other essays in the series

'The grammar of change: Big Local neighbourhoods in action' - David Boyle

'New seeds beneath the snow?' - Julian Dobson

'Skittled out? The collapse and revival of England's social infrastructure' - Dan Gregory

'Community Spirits' - Stephen Bates

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