Paxton House celebrates funding award for Caribbean Connections Creative Partnership

An attraction near Berwick is to be given funding for the next phase of its Caribbean Connections Creative Partnership project.
Descendants on the steps of Paxton House with curator Fiona Salvesen Murrell.Descendants on the steps of Paxton House with curator Fiona Salvesen Murrell.
Descendants on the steps of Paxton House with curator Fiona Salvesen Murrell.

Paxton House will receive the money as part of Museums Galleries Scotland’s Delivering Change Sustainable Co-production Fund, made possible thanks to players of the National Lottery and People’s Postcode Lottery.

Like many historic houses, Paxton House has connections with transatlantic slavery – one of its early owners Ninian Home had sugar plantations in Grenada. The objective is to find ways to create learning as a two-way process and to empower people to make decisions about their cultural lives.

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Professor Louise Jackson, chair of The Paxton Trust, said: “We are delighted to have received support for this ground-breaking project, which combines our curatorial, public engagement and education remits to diversify our audiences, and look forward to sharing the outcomes.”

The team will build upon its award-winning work with the Descendants organisations, its project partners, and the local community in new sustainable ways to co-create long-term educational resources, new partnerships and develop the skills of all involved through training, workshops, an exhibition and events.

They plan to bring together internationally-renowned Grenadian artist, Billy Gérard Frank, Edinburgh Caribbean Association, Grenadians and local communities to make innovative artwork and heritage resources available for local and global audiences.

So far, the programme has resulted in rich new research and resources and greater insight into the place that Paxton House, when it was a gentleman’s country house, holds in the history of the slave trade.

The partnership with Descendants has brought new understanding to the families that are part of the African Caribbean diaspora and new audiences to Paxton House.