A Manchester archive has secured over £350,000 to help preserve the heritage of the region's South Asian communities.

The Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust project will support community groups in recording and digitally archiving stories about their heritage for future generations.

Called 'Coming In From the Cold', it will help groups to showcase and share their heritage and provide practical support and training including workshops in oral history and archiving.

Jennie Vickers is the project's community engagement manager, working out of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre.

She said: "There are significant gaps in the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah collection and particularly low numbers of oral history recordings with people of Arabic, Indian and Sri Lankan heritage.

"We have a special interest in raising the visibility and appreciation of BAME communities' contributions to Greater Manchester and British history.

"Coming In From the Cold is a great opportunity to engage more groups in contributing to the archive and ensuring it is truly representative of the region's diversity."

Community groups have already come forward with proposals including a project from Crescent Radio to record the life stories of Kashmiri people living in Rochdale and Oldham. Material currently preserved in the archive includes a project about the contribution of Muslim soldiers in WWII.

Coming In From the Cold will also archive existing community collections and add selected material to the digital exhibitions at Archives+ in Manchester Central Library. 

The three year project is supported by a £357,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and will operate from the resource centre's base at Manchester Central Library.

Established in 1998, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre is part of Manchester University. It is named after a 13-year-old Bangladeshi teenager who was killed in his south Manchester school playground by a fellow pupil in 1986.

Groups interested in accessing support and funding to deliver a heritage project can contact the Trust on 0161 275 2920 or at rrarchive@manchester.ac.uk