I am pleased to present the first Annual Report & Financial Accounts for the Roman Mancetter & Boudica Heritage Centre for the financial year January – December 2020, a year marked with so many planned and wonderful activities and events, but sadly overshadowed by the impact of Covid-19.
Back in 2017, the North Warwickshire and Hinckley & Bosworth Destination Management Plan (DMP) provided a framework to guide the future development and growth of tourism across the two boroughs of North Warwickshire and Hinckley & Bosworth for the next 5 years (2017- 2022)”.
Mancetter was identified as a potential visitor focus, given its Roman history and reputed location of Boudica’s last battle. The ‘Two Battles, One Place’ feasibility study completed in 2016 suggested a number of options for interpreting these stories in Mancetter.
Many will know that Mancetter was of front-line strategic importance during the early years of the Roman advancement, occupation and consolidation, and for the first time archaeological finds from our rich Roman history are now permanently on display in an exciting Heritage Centre, housed in St. Peter’s Church, Mancetter.
The Heritage Centre has an extensive display of information boards and artefacts. These evaluate how the terrain and documentation offer credible support to the theory and fascinating story of Boudica’s last battle against the invading Romans, which many prominent historians believe took place between Mancetter and Hartshill.
Following the Roman Mancetter & Boudica Heritage Centre’s successful opening day back in March, with over 360 people attending, and a further sixty visitors through its doors over following four Saturdays, we had to close the doors due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
The past year has proved a difficult time for many smaller Museums and Heritage Centre’s countrywide, with a number being forced to close their doors permanently.
However, I am pleased to say that the Heritage Centre’s dedicated project team have been working hard behind the scenes, holding regular update meetings on-line, discussing and planning the re-opening the Roman Mancetter & Boudica Heritage Centre once all restrictions have been lifted.
It has been a privilege to work closely with such a talented and committed team who have given so much of their time working tirelessly over the past 18 months in the planning and creating of the Heritage Centre.
|Martin Saunders:||Chair & Project Leader||Patrick Woodcock:||Designer & Media|
|Stuart Jones:||Vice Chair & Website Host||Eddie Smallwood:||Local Historian & Speaker|
|Carl Gurney:||Treasurer||Caroline Foster:||Social Media & Churchwarden|
|Melanie Smith:||Administration & Co-ordinator||Jane Bennett:||Events & Churchwarden|
|Margaret Hughes:||Historian & Author||Mandy Coult:||Group & School liaison|
|Malcom Lockett:||Historian & Pottery|
It is also with great sadness that two of our project team members passed away during 2020;
Lorna Dirveiks, Local Historian and one of the a founders of the Roman Heritage Centre at Mancetter
Mike Evans: Heritage Centre Photographer & Graphics, and St. Peter’s Church Treasurer
I would also like to take the opportunity to give a huge THANK YOU to the following for their commitment, understanding, support and financial funding in the creation of the Heritage Centre.
- England’s Rural Heart Leader Programme
- The European Agricultural Fund
- North Warwickshire County Council
- North Warwickshire Borough Council
- Atherstone Civic Society
- Peter’s Church Mancetter
Also, a big thank you must go to our stewards and volunteers, they are worth their weight in gold. They give their time and talents, so it’s crucial to acknowledge their contributions and let them know they are valued, we couldn’t carry out the work that we do without them. On behalf of our team and our visitors, I would like to say thank you for your unwavering support and generosity and I look forward to seeing you all in 2021.
Finally, I would like say thank you to Pete Riley, director at Spooky Nook Creative Limited for the excellent service provided, the quality of workmanship in his creativity, and his design and enthusiasm for our project.
The team are very much looking forward to the New Year, with the aim of re-opening the Heritage Centre in the spring, and delivering a number of excellent high quality visitor-focussed programmes and events throughout the year.
Our aim is to engage the local community with our on and off-site projects, such as the new Roman information boards at Hartshill Hayes being erected in the spring, depicting Boudica’s last battle with the Romans and the Heritage Centre showcasing new local pottery finds highlighting Mancetter’s important pottery industry.
We want to bring Mancetter’s Roman history to life in the place where it happened, engaging visitors through exciting exhibitions, guided walks, various talks, special event weekends and educational programmes for schools.
I am also immensely proud of the team and volunteers and what has been achieved under such difficult circumstances, I am hugely grateful for the support of St. Peter’s Church, the local community and of course our many visitors.
This report sets out our financial statement for 2020 and covers our future five year vision for the Roman Heritage Centre.
Roman Mancetter & Boudica Heritage Centre