AN arts groups based in the Dales has been given Heritage Lottery Fund cash to boost an ambitious project which will conserve a unique archive of photographs documenting local history.

The Upper Wharfedale Arts and Literature Society’s ‘Presenting the Past’ project incorporates a number of elements, including photography, oral history, music and film. And at its centre will be the conservation and documentation of a unique archive of photographs of Upper Wharfedale, the Inman Roberts collection.

The group’s chairman, Michael Stephenson, said: “Presenting the Past follows the society’s acclaimed local history research project and exhibition which was showcased in Grassington Town Hall earlier this year. At its heart will be the restoration and exhibition of a unique collection of early 20th century photographs of the area, which will be the springboard for several strands of research and creative activity. This very generous award will open up a range of exciting opportunities for people to get involved in celebrating and uncovering the heritage of the area in different ways.”

As part of the scheme, volunteers will be trained in the development of an oral history archive, whilst others will undertake creative projects in photography, film and music – including the composition and presentation of material inspired by the restored pictures and oral histories. Mr Stephenson added: “This award is also a recognition of the tireless efforts of group members over the last couple of years.” The project launch is on Saturday, January 26, at Conistone with Kilnsey Hall - all welcome.