A LOTTERY windfall is set to help the people of Inverclyde tell tales of the area’s hidden history.

Council bosses have been awarded £200,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to run an initiative called ‘Stories Frae the Street’.

The lotto money will help pay for a heritage outreach worker for almost two years plus two apprentices.

Wilma Bain, director of education, speaking at a meeting of the local authority’s policy and resources committee, said: “The aim of the project is to target the hard-to-reach people and really engage them with our heritage in Inverclyde.

“The project will fully fund a 23-month heritage outreach worker post and over the next two years we will be able to appoint two young people to a modern apprenticeship.

“That can only be a good thing and will help to create future job opportunities.”

Inverclyde is one of a few local authorities in Scotland to receive an award.

The project will offer three artist residencies to explore ‘creative interpretations’ of Greenock town centre’s heritage.

It will also support celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the Custom House this year and the bicentenary of the death of James Watt next year.

The bid involved input from education services, the libraries and museums service, Greenock Town Centre Regeneration Forum, Riverside Inverclyde, RIG Arts, Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network and Developing the Young Workforce.

Depute council leader Councillor Jim Clocherty praised the team behind the successful lottery cash bid.

He said: “I would like to congratulate Wilma and Grant McGovern for putting the bid together.

“I am looking forward to working with this group putting the town centre on the map.”

In addition to the lottery cash a further £60,000 will be added to help run the programme, with a total of £10,000 from Riverside Inverclyde and RIG Arts combined, and a further £10,000 coming from the council’s libraries and museums and inclusion budgets, with the rest from ‘in-kind’ management and support.