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£55,900 Heritage Lottery Fund Grant To Celebrate The History Of Kenwood

£55,900 Heritage Lottery Fund Grant To Celebrate The History Of Kenwood 23 August 2018

The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant has been awarded a £55,900 National Lottery grant through the Heritage Lottery Fund to record and celebrate the history of the town’s Kenwood factory.

The project will tell the story of the internationally famous brand, which was founded by Kenneth Wood in 1947 in Woking and moved to Havant in 1962. Around 700 people were employed at the factory at the time and Kenwood’s presence in the town put Havant on the national map as a centre of quality manufacturing.

The Kenwood Chef, which was redesigned in Havant by Kenneth Grange, has played a major role in British social history, contributing to the transformation of the nation's post-war domestic life through the production of labour saving devices that helped begin to free women from their traditional roles.

While manufacturing transferred to China in the 1990s, the company’s headquarters remains in New Lane, Havant, and has provided both employment and social opportunities for staff over many years.

The grant will fund the creation of a documentary film featuring interviews with former and current Kenwood workers and tracing the development of the company over six decades. The film will feature as part of a temporary exhibition in The Spring’s mezzanine, to run from April next year. It will also be part of a new interactive Kenwood-themed exhibit in the museum’s existing 1950s/60s kitchen. A book featuring the memories of all contributors will also be created.

Sophie Fullerlove, director of the Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, said: “We are excited to be given the opportunity to celebrate Havant’s role in a pioneering brand and are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for backing the project. We will be holding a 1960s themed day in September to celebrate Kenwood’s arrival in Havant and we hope as many former and current employees as possible will attend.”

Mark Welch, managing director of Kenwood, said: “We are delighted the Spring Arts and Heritage Centre has been awarded this grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project will highlight the role Kenwood has played in the local community for more than 60 years and enable both current and former workers to record their experiences of working for the company."

The project will be launched at The Spring’s free Mixing ‘n’ Twisting 1960s themed day on Saturday September 29th from 11.30am. Kenwood’s iconic vintage van will be on display and John Wood, step-son of founder Ken, will be in attendance to share his memories. There will also be opportunities to try out 1960s nail, hair and make-up styles, listen to 1960s music and watch the classic film Taste of Honey.

ENDS

For further information, contact Steve Murray, Trustee of The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, on 07776 185976 or email stevie_dm@me.com

Notes to editors

About the Heritage Lottery Fund - Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.