Who were the industrial movers and shakers who helped shape Halton? Who were the workers, what jobs did they do and how did they change over the years?

Halton Borough Council has been successful in gaining funding of £207,700 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund towards the Celebrating Halton’s Heritage project.

Part of Celebrate Halton – Borough of Culture 2021, the project focuses on the Borough of Culture theme Pioneers and Trailblazers, with a specific emphasis on trades in the borough over the centuries.

The overall aim of the Borough of Culture programme is to stimulate talent and aspiration, and promote creativity and economic growth through cultural engagement across the Liverpool City Region.

It centres on a number of initiatives: Children and young people enjoying, learning and thriving through culture and creative activity; Improving wellbeing, health, education, cohesion and future of work; Increasing participation, particularly among older people; Promoting Halton’s creative and cultural offer to local people and visitors; Leaving a legacy through better infrastructure for culture and creativity.

Celebrating Halton’s Heritage will launch at Heritage Open Days in September 21 and run through to September 2022. A Heritage HQ will be established at St Marie’s – a converted church building in Widnes – home to Halton and St Helens Voluntary and Community Action. The HQ will host talks, workshops and exhibitions on the themes of trades in Halton over the centuries, in particular rural trades, ‘nasty’ trades and ‘making’ trades. A series of satellite activities will be held at partner venues to help spread the heritage of the borough to those who would not ordinarily get involved in heritage activity.

The project also includes a creative specialist working with a group of young people to explore one of the themes, and and to create monologues relating to these to be projected on to non-heritage buildings around the borough. Working closely with Halton Heritage Partnership, a team of heritage architects will curate three exhibitions on each of the sub-themes This may include work with an oral historian and other creatives, such as a local poet.

Another part of the plan provides opportunities for local groups to apply for small pots of money for mini projects which explore the themes further.

Cllr Paul Nolan, the Council’s portfolio holder for culture and leisure services, says:  “It’s tremendous news that Halton Borough Council has been awarded this grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. With the Heritage HQ being established in the old St Marie’s church, itself a building of historical significance, today’s residents will be able to discover how past locals worked, lived and died, and how their experiences shape ours in the present.”



*Borough of Culture, is awarded annually on a rotational basis to one of the six local authorities that make up the Liverpool City Region, as part of the Combined Authority’s Culture programme.

The aim is to increase participation in quality cultural activity across Halton, helping more people to experience the arts and to benefit from the role that culture can play in transforming lives – improving health and wellbeing, reducing social isolation, increasing community cohesion, inspiring creativity, supporting learning and making Halton a great place to live and work.