Hartlepool secures £62,000 for museum project to highlight history of the emergency services

Hartlepool Borough Council assistant director of community services John Mennear
Hartlepool Borough Council assistant director of community services John Mennear

THE role played by emergency services over the past 250 years is set to be highlighted after council bosses secured funding worth £62,000.

Hartlepool Borough Council has been successful in securing £62,000 for the two-year 999: What’s Your Emergency? museums project from the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund, a national grant stream which funds research into public museum collections.

The council is leading on the scheme which will also include The Dorman Museum, in Middlesbrough, and Head of Steam, in Darlington.

The initial project was successfully shortlisted and then officers were invited to make a full application in May, one of only seven projects to be selected nationally.

Officers say the aim is to “widen public involvement” in museum social history collections directly relating to the emergency services and individual heroes who have helped communities over the last 250 years.

The council’s regeneration services committee accepted the grant and approved the recruitment of a collections access officer to deliver the project, who will be employed by the council.

Labour councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher said: “I am really pleased that organisations like the RNLI are going to be recognised in this exhibition.”

Coun Akers-Belcher asked if the information will be displayed at the end of the two-year period or if there would be exhibitions throughout that time.

John Mennear, the council’s assistant director of community services, said there will be different things happening over the lifespan of the project.

Coun Akers-Belcher said emergency services involved in dealing with the aftermath of the Bombardment of Hartlepool on December 16, 1914, when a total of 118 people, including 37 children, lost their lives should be included.

He added it would be a good opportunity to link in with other plans to commemorate the Bombardment and it was also an opportunity for people to share information, memories and any artefacts.

Labour councillor Robbie Payne said the department does “really well” securing external grants, a sentiment echoed by Conservative councillor George Morris, who added: “I would like to congratulate the officers for getting external grants into the local authority.”