Project explores how immigration has shaped Hartlepool

Hartlepool Civic Centre.

Hartlepool Civic Centre.

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Young people are needed to join an 18-month project to explore how immigration has helped shape Hartlepool over the centuries.

The Changing Face of Hartlepool project is open to people aged 13-19 and is led by the Arts For Teens Group – young people working with Hartlepool Borough Council’s Youth Support, Museums and Libraries Services. The project is being funded from £34,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

As well as researching immigration to Hartlepool – both historical and contemporary – and exploring the various cultures behind that, the young people will also have an opportunity to explore their own family tree.

Beth Major, youth work manager in the council’s Youth Support Service, said: “Hartlepool has always had a strong history of immigration.

“For example, there were movements of people for trading reasons during the Saxon and medieval periods and later Hartlepool gave shelter to the Huguenots who were escaping religious persecution in France in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

“More recently, during Victorian times there was a large influx of Jewish people fleeing the pogroms in Western Russia and there was Cornish and Scottish migration into the area for work in the iron-making and shipbuilding industries.

Two of Hartlepool’s first citizens had overseas backgrounds. William Romaine, the Mayor in 1723, was of Huguenot descent and Christian Nielson, who was Mayor in 1871 and 1872, was a Danish immigrant from Copenhagen.

Those interested should contact Beth Major on 01429 523762 or email beth.major@hartlepool.gov.uk.