A NEW history centre is to be built at Pershore Cemetery thanks to a grant of more than £50,000 being awarded to the town council.

The cash injection of £52,100 is coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund and will see the Cemetery Lodge at Pershore Cemetery in Three Springs Road transformed into a Family History Research Centre.

The project is being led by Pershore Town Council and will focus on mapping the cemetery and researching the families behind some of the graves.

Over the next 12 months and in partnership with other organisations, local volunteers and Worcestershire County Council, the lodge will be refurbished and developed to include IT facilities enabling visitors to research the lives of the families of those buried in the cemetery.

As part of the mapping process volunteers will photograph the cemetery and headstones.

Displays will also be created to explain the role of the workhouse in the town and identify the large number of pauper graves at the cemetery as well as the war graves sections.

The local heritage and history society also has records of those living in the workhouse and these together with cemetery records enable this aspect of the history of the town to be brought to life.

Schools packs will be produced on both the history and wildlife of the cemetery and a wildlife survey will be undertaken to enable this to happen.

All this will take place thanks to the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which using money raised by the National Lottery, aims to make a difference for heritage, people and communities and help build a resilient heritage economy.

Councillor Chris Parsons, chairman of the cemetery committee said: "This is a very exciting project which will prove extremely useful to the people of Pershore enabling them to research family history and understand more about the town they live in.

"The cemetery committee is most grateful to Ann Dobbins for all her work in obtaining the lottery grant."

The town will be kept up to date on the project with progress reports in the quarterly newsletter.

For more information on the Heritage Lottery Fund visit hlf.org.uk and to discover more about the project itself or to become a volunteer call the town council on 01386 561561 or email townclerk@pershore-tc.gov.uk.