A REPLICA lead mining tub featuring handmade glass panels will be the centrepiece of a community arts project celebrating a dale’s industrial heritage.

The Weardale Tub project aims to engage people of all ages in the area’s rich history and highlight how industry has shaped the landscape and communities they live in today.

As part of the project, led by Durham County Council and MBC Arts Wellbeing CIC, a full-size replica lead tub will be created and installed at Killhope Lead Mining Museum in Upper Weardale.

Debbie Connell, the authority’s community culture development officer, said: “Often, when we talk about heritage, we think of the past and the lives and accomplishments of those who came before us. However, heritage is about more than that - it is a celebration of how previous generations shaped the communities and landscapes that exist today.”

Artists from MBC Arts and Wellbeing CIC have already completed the steel frame and over the next few months, they will lead a series of free glassmaking workshops across Weardale.

Individuals, community groups and schools are invited to attend the sessions, where they will seek inspiration from the area’s heritage to create 500 glass images to display in the frame.

Experienced glasswork tutors will guide participants to produce their own panel, using materials that reflect industrial activity of the past.

Once fused, the glass panels will be fired into larger panels to form the sides of the lead tub, which will be unveiled at Killhope in July.

Ms Connell added: “In Weardale, evidence of the area’s industrial past is all around us and what better way to acknowledge that than by creating an art installation that links people to their past in such a visual way.”

Those who take part will also have the opportunity to be part of a documentary, which MBC Arts Wellbeing has commissioned to chart the project.

Arts Council England, Weardale Area Action Partnership (AAP), Northern Heartlands and the council are funding the venture.

The free workshops will take place at Low Barns Nature Reserve, Witton-le- Wear, on Tuesday, 22 January, from 9.30am to 12pm or 12.30pm to 3pm, Wolsingham Town Hall on January 29 from 6pm to 8.30pm, Frosterley Village Hall on February 28 from 6pm to 8.30pm, Stanhope Community Centre on March 6 from 9.30am to 12pm or 1pm to 3.15pm, Chatterbox Cafe, St John’s Chapel, on March 14 from 6pm to 8.30pm, Cowshill Village Hall on March 18 from 1pm to 3.30pm and Killhope Lead Mining Museum during the Easter holidays.

For details and to book call 03000 262679 or email Deborah.connell@durham.gov.uk