Heritage group gets support from Europe

Carleton St Orange Hall tour guide, Bill Partridge, prepares to conduct tours of the hall during Orange Heritage Week. INPT38-217.
Carleton St Orange Hall tour guide, Bill Partridge, prepares to conduct tours of the hall during Orange Heritage Week. INPT38-217.

Portadown Heritage Tours has been awarded £71,285 in European Peace funding.

The funding was awarded for the employment of two full time workers for a period of 16 months with a possible extension, a Project Manager and an Administrative Assistant, both posts have been filled.

The local community tourism initiative based at Carleton Street Orange Hall was set up in August 2017 under the guidance of Ballymena based company, Brilliant Trails, after funding was awarded by the Heritage Lottery fund.

The local community tour guides are mainly made up of members of the Loyal Orders. The local organisation was developed to promote Portadown’s industrial history and Orange Heritage through tours and published content. Tours currently on offer are the Portadown Town Walking Tour, Tour of Carleton Street Orange Hall & Heritage Centre and The Siege of Drumcree Tour.

The organisation aims to promote cross community historical learning through the local tours, exhibitions and events. As an organisation they are championing the teaching of local history in local schools across the whole community.

Chairman of Portadown Heritage Tours, Bill Partridge said, “I would like to express my thanks to the PEACE IV programme and ABC Council for their help. As an organisation we are very enthusiastic for all our future plans for the town and how we can promote the local history and heritage through working with local community organisations.

“Portadown is very lucky in the sense that we have a lot of hardworking community associations who we are keen to work with. Also, our big aim is to get involved with the local schools to bring local history into the local education programme.”

Portadown Heritage Tours office is open Monday–Thursday 8:45am until 4:30pm and Friday 8:30am until 1:30pm. The office can be contacted on 028 3833 2010 or there is an out of hours service available on 07928 962 608.