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Raising the Bar

FUNDERS & PARTNERS: East Ayrshire Council, Ayrshire Leader, Historic Scotland CARS, European Community, Scottish Government and Northlight Heritage
LOCATION: Cumnock, East Ayrshire


This innovative heritage and arts project involved over 350 schoolchildren and adult volunteers in investigating their local heritage.  It focused on the site of a 19th-century inn in the former mining community of Cumnock in East Ayrshire.  We combined archaeological excavation and historical investigation of the site with learning events and creative workshops:  oral history events to create a memory bank, workshops in family history research and online sources,  screen printing archive images and wood carving the ‘couthy bench’, a legacy project co-produced with project participants and visitors to the site.  Children from Greenbank Primary School participated in the nationwide 'Kids in Museums'  Takeover Day 2013 at The Baird Institute, designing and curating their own exhibition based on the finds from the excavation and giving guided tours of their work to the public throughout the day.  The project led directly to the formation of a new Cumnock History Group and the production of Cumnock's first heritage trail and inspired a community play based on the findings.