Plymouth Community History Festival

Current stage: Awarded


  • WonderZoo CIC
  • Diversity Business Incubator
  • Nudge Community Builders
Briefly describe your project
An inclusive Community History Festival for Plymouth, in October 2023.

This small but exciting festival of talks, guided walks, stalls and displays in central Plymouth will offer a wider range of speakers to attract new audiences to our history events. This year, as we emerge from the pandemic, the festival will act as a central pilot, to establish the foundation for a larger festival across the city in future years

Online Advice Session – Tuesday 20th June at 12:30pm

During the first round, POP members will be asked to advise you. What advice would be most helpful?

This will be an attempt at a more inclusive History Festival for Plymouth, to include a wider range of communities and reach new audiences. What do the words inclusion and community mean to you? What could we do to improve in these areas, to be more inclusive and reach new audiences?

Describe what you hope your Collective will achieve
Unable to run the Plymouth History Festival in May this year, we moved it to October, to coincide with the first week of Black History Month. This gives us the exciting opportunity to collaborate with the organisers of the events for Black History Month.

For the first time, volunteers from Arts University Plymouth will support us. Working with the plans for Black History Month has made this possible. Many talks and walks with be led by global majority individuals and groups, attracting new and younger audiences.

We will use social media to promote all the history and heritage events, including support for Black History Month, in October 2023

We will offer a simple web-page of events, linked to The Box’s website, for ease of reference. The programme will list activities submitted by history and community groups across Plymouth. With cost of living in mind, though, we will keep most new events central this year, near major transport hubs, in an effort to reduce cost for the majority.

We aim to use an empty shop in the city centre as an information hub during the Festival week (30th September – 6th October).

Feedback from this event will enable us to establish a solid foundation for a larger festival, with more events across a wider area in future years.

Our history and heritage events in Plymouth have a number of key outcomes, which will determine the success of this pilot:

• Being more inclusive in the topics for discussion.
• Reaching new audiences
• Offering a wider range of speakers, walks, events and stalls.
• Promoting the archives and research materials to a wider range of potential researchers.
• Tackling isolation and loneliness
• Encouraging scholarship across the city.
• Encouraging residents and visitors to explore the city.
• Bringing new communities and visitors into the city centre area.

This pilot is intended to be a game-changer for Plymouth, making the History Festival more inclusive than ever. It will contribute to the Plymouth Plan: to be a growing and welcoming city, and to offer a diverse cultural experience worthy of an international city.

Describe how your Collective formed

Since 2013, there’s been an annual History Festival in Plymouth held in May. In 2023, the Festival could not go ahead in May, but POP’s Plymouth Community Heritage Network suggested that WonderZoo might produce a short festival in the first week of October. DBI already offer events in October for Black History Month, and it was felt that offering a more inclusive Plymouth Community History Festival, coinciding with the start of Black History Month, might create new collaborations and ideas around history events in the city. WonderZoo has agreed to coordinate the History Festival this year, in collaboration with DBI, with Nudge’s venue at The Plot hosting a final event.
Which collaboration “shape” do you expect will best describe your project?
HUB AND SPOKE – Like a bike wheel, one organisation holds things together at the centre, while other organisations perform specific tasks
In which areas would you expect most of your grant to be spent?