February Newsletter -
Spring is on its way!

The Garden's Project 

Quick update!
  • The contractors have continued to work on site throughout February and the path network is really taking shape.
  • The Drive Way is opening up and the vision is really clear now.
  • Rhododendron experts have been onsite advising on the best way to preserve and celebrate the collection at Highbury.
  • We are building quite a list of volunteer activities and training opportunities to get stuck into once we are allowed back onsite.
  • We are getting prepared for work on the drainage system and are putting in the research to understand why the site is so wet this year and how we can channel the water away from paths.

If you are local and visiting Highbury be prepared for a variety of surfaces along the new path network, everything from sloppy mud to tightly packed stone and in the coming weeks we will see the finished surface being added. Sometimes you may even need to go off track around the construction team!

See more regular updates on the project on social media and more in depth info on our website
We have had loads of people applying to Volunteer on the Garden Project (we have just reached our 50th new volunteer on this project!) and several application for the new Chair of Trustees role and a real range of applicants to join our Youth Board. We can not wait until we can get everyone active again Highbury will be a hive of volunteering activity.
If you want to join the Highbury Team there are loads of ways to get involved. We will soon be recruiting more new Trustees and hopefully by the end of the year more Tour Guides, Oral History Takers, and Education Volunteers.

Volunteering is really crucial at Highbury and we are so thankful for all the hard work, dedication and expertise put in to make Highbury so special and keep the projects and places moving forward.

Back to the Lottery (Again)

The National Heritage Lottery Fund has now reopened for project funding applications. However, it is not a return to 'business as usual' before the pandemic. Applications must fully reflect refocused priorities for funding. The new priorities are:

• inclusion: 'a wider range of people will be involved in heritage' (mandatory outcome)

• economy including job creation: 'the local economy will be boosted'

• wellbeing: ‘people will have greater wellbeing’

• local areas: ‘the local area will be a better place to live, work and visit’

• skills: ‘people will have developed skills’

• organisational resilience: 'funded organisations will be more resilient'

Every project must achieve the inclusion outcome. In addition, all projects will have to demonstrate that they are environmentally responsible and are integrating environmental measures into their proposals. This reflects a commitment to environmental sustainability and a ‘green’ recovery from the pandemic.

Before an application for a major grant can be submitted, NLHF must receive and approve an Expression of Interest (EOI). The Trust already had an approved EOI, but this had been assessed against the previous priorities:
• heritage will be in better condition
• heritage will be identified and better explained
• people will have learned about heritage.

We are now required to submit a completely new EOI to be assessed against the new priorities. As you know, we don’t hang around! Our completely revised EOI was submitted on 18th February. In it, we have identified the outcomes we expect to achieve in relation to all six of the new priorities. Our work with the Future Leaders Network and our Youth Board are delivering against the mandatory Inclusion priority, and next month, the Board will receive a report from our Colonial History and Heritage Working Group (an area of research which we know is considered to be important by the NLHF).

After a long pause since NLHF last invited funding applications, we once again expect the competition to be fierce. But we continue with hope and determination.

We are really excited to be supporting Highbury Orchard Community as they invite in the Spring through their Restorative Rituals Project. This is a count don to the Equinox and each week the Orchard are running remote activities to connect with nature and prepare to let Spring rejuvenate us.

Keep up with them on  Facebook
Youth Board Project
As part of our preparation for activities later in the year we are reaching out to the community, we want you to be part of Highbury's Future!
I know some of you have been working on your submissions, please email them to or send them via social media
Thank you for your continued support, we look forward to being able to invite you to events at Highbury soon, stay safe and look after each other.
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The Chamberlain Highbury Trust · 4 Yew Tree Rd · Birmingham, West Midlands B13 8QG · United Kingdom