WINCHESTER Heritage Open Days will now be the responsibility of a new charitable incorporated organisation.

Hampshire History Trust is set to take the reins, starting this year, as well as create a new festival based in the city.

This new CIO will also run other community projects such as a Blue Plaque Scheme and Hampshire HistBites, the county’s history podcast channel.

Nicky Gottlieb and Becky Brown, two of the three founding trustees, said they were delighted that the new charity had been approved by the Charity Commission.

“​This is the start of an exciting journey for us,” said Nicky.

“​Five years ago when I first re-launched Heritage Open Days here in Winchester I always dreamed that it would develop onto a wider history festival to celebrate Winchester’s incredibly rich history and heritage.

“Becoming a CIO in our own right ​ is a crucial and exciting first step in realising our ambitions to bring Hampshire’s rich history and heritage to a wider audience.”

Read more:

Becky paid tribute to the City of Winchester Trust and to Bruce Winton at Community First and all the organisations, sponsors and volunteers who have been involved in Winchester Heritage Open Days since 2016.​

“We wouldn’t be here without their support and encouragement,” she said. “​And we hope our partnerships with the City of Winchester Trust, Hampshire Cultural Trust, Winchester College, Hampshire County Council, Winchester BID, and the University of Winchester will continue to grow as we build on the success of Winchester Heritage Open Days to develop a Winchester History Festival and hold more outreach activities and events for schools.”

The proposal is for the Winchester History Festival to take place in late September, immediately following on from Heritage Open Days.

Members of the public can listen to Hampshire HistBites on Spotify, Apple Tunes and Google Podcasts.