Give your vote to Nottingham Slave Trade Legacies project

Slave Trade Legacies 445x124
04 Jul 2016 12:45:00.000

A project investigating slave trade legacies in Britain, co-run by The University of Nottingham, is appealing for public votes after successfully reaching the finals of the National Lottery Awards 2016

Slave Trade Legacies: The Colour of Money, which is a partnership between the School of Geography and Bright Ideas Nottingham, a social enterprise, is hoping to be crowned the UK’s favourite National Lottery-funded heritage project. 

The project explores the extent to which UK heritage visitor attractions acknowledge their links to the transatlantic slave trade - the forced migration of 12-15 million people from Africa to work in the then-Western American colonies from the mid-15th century to the end of the 1800s.

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Slave Trade Legacies, which has run for more than nine months, received £9,700 of National Lottery funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Heritage sites with links to slavery

The project worked with a team of volunteers who are largely, though not exclusively, of African-Caribbean heritage and were given training from expert facilitators to analyse venues with well-known or hidden links to slavery, including nearby Newstead Abbey and cotton mills in the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire.

They also explored how their own ancestors, and those of others in the Black community in Britain, have contributed to the material wealth of the UK, including the wealth of specific families and businesses, such as the landowning Wildman family of Newstead Abbey, the Liverpool merchants, the Tarletons and the cotton-spinners of the Derwent Valley.

Showcasing findings

To document and share their findings with the public; volunteers took to social media; contributed to a blog; made a live radio broadcast on 97.5 Kemet FM and produced a short film featuring local people, screened at the Broadway Cinema.

The project also teamed up with Dr Susanne Seymour who runs The University of Nottingham’s Global Cotton Connections project which explored how raw cotton vital to the development of the British textile industry, and grown on slave plantations in places including the Caribbean, assisted the growth of material wealth in Britain. 

Dr Seymour, from the School of Geography, who was also an academic contributor to the Heritage Lottery-funded Slave Trade Legacies work, said: “I’m delighted that The Colour of Money project has gone on to receive national recognition through the National Lottery Awards.

Volunteers from the project were linked into many of the activities of Global Cotton Connections. One of the project legacies is that the group were able to influence the interpretation of the Gateway Visitor Centre for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site at Cromford Mills in Derbyshire.

This has ensured that this key industrial heritage site clearly states the fact that cotton used in the mills was picked by enslaved African people.

Reaching the finals

Slave Trade Legacies beat off stiff competition from more than 600 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards and is one of only seven projects from across the UK to make the final of the Heritage category. 

Winners are to be announced at a star-studded awards ceremony in London, broadcast on BBC One in September.  Along with the kudos, winners of each of the seven categories will receive a £3,000 cash prize to spend on their own project, alongside a prestigious National Lottery Awards trophy. 

University of Nottingham connections

Project coordinators for Slave Trade Legacies are Lisa Robinson, Director of social enterprise, Bright Ideas Nottingham, and Helen Bates of the University of Leicester and both are University of Nottingham alumni. Lisa qualified as a teacher and trainer in continuing education and Helen Bates has an MA in Local and Regional History.

Lisa recently joined the University’s board for the Centre of Research in Race and Rights. Lisa says winning the accolade and having their work showcased on national television would be an honour. “It’s easy to vote so we’re hoping people support us, and it would be a fantastic reward for all the volunteers involved to receive national recognition for their commitment.” 

TV star John Barrowman who will present the National Lottery Awards for the sixth time this year, said: “Your local project has worked very hard to become a finalist and they now need your support because the project with the most votes in each category will be crowned winner.

“Projects, such as Slave Trade Legacies: The Colour of Money, receive funding thanks to National Lottery players who raise £36m every single week for good causes across the UK.”

To vote for Slave Trade Legacies: the Colour of Money:

Visit the website or Facebook; call 0844 8369675 or cast your vote on Twitter, using the hashtags #NLAwards #Vote 

Voting runs until midnight on Wednesday 20 July

Notes to Editors

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Global Cotton Connections was recently a finalist in the University’s Knowledge Exchange and Impact Awards for Social Science 2016.

There are seven projects competing for votes across seven categories at the National Lottery Awards, reflecting the main areas of National Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health, environment, education and voluntary/charity.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

For more information, please contact The National Lottery Awards: or 0207211 1662 or Dr Susanne Seymour, School of Geography, The University of Nottingham on 0115 95 15453 or


Emma Lowry - Media Relations Manager

Email:  Phone: +44 (0)115 846 7156  Location: University Park

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Published Date
Thursday 7th July 2016

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