The Cotswold Centre for History and Heritage brings together the work of undergraduate students and staff in History (School of Liberal and Performing Arts) at the University of Gloucestershire. Primarily student-led, the research conducted as part of the Centre aims to uncover and valorise the rich history of the area surrounding the University’s FCH Campus by exploring historical change through a local lens. The Centre has also been established with the intention of creating partnerships between the University, the local community and important local organisations, so that the research benefits local stakeholders as well as students.
Each year the Centre focuses on a number of different themes with the aim of producing public-facing exhibitions. In 2016-17, staff and students worked on the first project, entitled ‘Cheltenham’s Lower High Street: Past, Present, and Future’, in collaboration with the Cheltenham Civic Society and the Cheltenham West End Partnership. This project explored one of the oldest but most neglected parts of the Regency town, aiming to appraise the area and create a more inclusive history of Cheltenham. The project culminated in an exhibition at the Chapel Arts gallery between 17-30 June 2017 and the production of a short documentary film. Staff contributions to the project were supported by the University of Gloucestershire’s Being Human Research Priority Area.
In its second year, the projects included research marking the centenary of the end of World War I and about the suffragette movement in Cheltenham, creating a series of ‘historical walks’ in Gloucester, exploring the role of Gaston’s field in the Battle of Tewkesbury (1471), and continuing work on Cheltenham’s Lower High Street by exploring slum clearance schemes. Student work in 2017-18 is supported by a grant from the Janet Trotter Trust.
CC4HH works closely with the University of Gloucestershire’s Sustainability Team initiative on Learning Innovation for Tomorrow (LIFT), which offers support to students exploring transformative and futures-oriented learning and sustainability through their research projects.