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Rich history to be documented through workshops

A new series of photography workshops will launch next week as part of the £1.9 million National Lottery funded Wisbech High Street Project.

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Internationally-renowned architectural photographer Matt Emmett, of Forgotten Heritage Photography, will be leading the workshops after pledging his support to the project - with the first one getting underway on Saturday, October 7.

Made possible by a National Lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the workshops will help to document the rich history of the High Street buildings as work to renovate them through the four-year development project gets underway.

Amateur photographers of all ages and walks of life applied to take part in the series following a wide ranging appeal across the district.

The 12 chosen participants will get the opportunity to learn more about their town while developing their photography skills, and will build on Wisbech's impressive legacy of pioneering photographers, such as Samuel Smith, Lilian Ream and Geoff Hastings, who used the town centre and High Street as the subject for many of their photographs.

Matt, who specialises in capturing abandoned and at-risk heritage, said he was looking forward to the workshops getting started.

He said: "The workshops are a fantastic mix of gaining new skills and learning about your local area and history, both things I am personally a huge fan of. I think they will play a role in changing people's perceptions of Wisbech too, and hopefully bring a few new visitors to the town as well."

The first workshop will include a discussion about the project scope, an introduction to Matt and to architectural photography, as well as a look at the history of Wisbech and the photographers who captured it.

There will also be discussions around digital photography, with tips and advice on aesthetics and composition, the role of digital skills, and a photowalk around Wisbech to take some pictures.

Councillor David Oliver, Cabinet member for Heritage at Fenland District Council, which is delivering the Wisbech High Street Project, said: "It's exciting to see the activities planned as part of the project are starting to get underway. A lot of hard work has been going on behind the scenes since it began in January, assessing properties to prioritise funding, engaging with owners, developing projects and assisting with grant applications, and we're almost at the point where works can begin.

"The photography workshops will help to document this work as it unfolds, with many more heritage-related activities planned to get the local community involved as it happens."

"The work also runs parallel with number of positive schemes and improvements being delivered through the wider Wisbech 2020 Vision, which continues to attract investment for a wide range of projects that are helping make the town the best it can be."

There will be support from members of the Wisbech and District Camera Club who will attend each workshop and assist participants in-between sessions.

There will also be an exhibition held at No 24 High Street, known as The Gap site, towards the end of the project to showcase the work of all participants.

For more information about the National Lottery funded Wisbech High Street Project, visit its website at: www.highstreetwisbech.org.uk, follow @highstwisbech on Twitter and like facebook.com/wisbechhighstreetproject

You can also find out more about Matt on his website, follow @MattEmmett1 on Twitter and like facebook.com/ForgottenHeritagePhotography

Article added: September 26, 2017