Published: Tuesday, 5th September 2023
Jane Hamilton, originally from Gayton, King's Lynn, has been appointed by the borough council as the new Learning and Engagement Officer at St George's Guildhall and Creative Hub.
Jane joins Creative Director Tim Fitzhigham, as part of the team breathing new life into one of King's Lynn's most treasured gems, as the regeneration and refurbishment element of the project gets underway. Jane will also continue the work of PEACH West Norfolk, engaging young people in education, arts, culture and heritage across the borough.
Commenting on the role, Jane said:
"I am very excited to take on the role of Learning and Engagement Officer at St. George's Guildhall. Being a local girl, I strongly feel that the rich heritage of King's Lynn should be enjoyed by the local community. I am looking forward to building strong connections with local schools and community groups to bring the history of St. George's Guildhall alive for the next generation, but also to ensure that they themselves are a part of the continuing story of the Guildhall. The learning programme I am developing will align with the ambitious and exciting vision underpinning the regeneration plan. There will be engaging schools workshops, collaborative projects and fun family activities.
"After 13 years of teaching, I made the decision to pursue my dream of working in heritage education, and if I can inspire the young people of King's Lynn to feel as passionate and excited about the local heritage as I do, then I feel I will have achieved something very special."
Jane grew up in Gayton and attended secondary school in King's Lynn. After completing her undergraduate degree in Heritage Management at Bangor University and a PGCE in Primary Education at the University of East Anglia she began teaching in local Norfolk schools. During this time, she welcomed her three daughters into the world and settled with her family near Dereham. She is currently studying for a postgraduate degree in Museum Education with Glasgow University, alongside volunteering as a girlguiding leader.
Vicky Etheridge, Vice Chair of the Town Deal Board and Project Champion, said:
"As the new Town Deal Board Champion for the St George’s Guildhall project, welcoming Jane to the team feels like a huge step forward. The Guildhall has such a magnificent heritage and so many stories to share, I am really looking forward to seeing how these will be creatively brought to life for people, especially young people, to enjoy.”
Cllr James Moriarty, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said:
"This is a really exciting phase of the project. While the physical work on the fabric of the building is being planned in the background, Jane will be working hard to develop a future audience for the venue, inspiring people and creating a buzz about arguably one of Lynn’s most famous and yet-to-be-fully-understood heritage assets.”
The Guildhall is the country’s oldest working theatre and the only theatre still surviving in which Shakespeare is believed to have performed.
The St George's Guildhall and Creative Hub project, which is led by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, has secured just over £8m from the Government’s Town’s Fund, and is set to transform the Guildhall and surrounding buildings into a nationally important cultural heritage site at the heart of King’s Lynn’s arts and culture scene. The project aims to enhance this jewel in King’s Lynn’s crown, turning it into a welcoming, flexible and accessible place with a varied programme of cultural, performances and art-based experiences and opportunities.
The project forms part of the King’s Lynn Town Investment Plan. It is led by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, in partnership with Norfolk Museums Service in collaboration with the National Trust.
This role has been made possible thanks to two successful funding applications: The UK shared Prosperity Fund and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival (Connect and Create).