A new £1 million Holocaust education centre is taking shape in the north of England, after a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £600,000.

The 300 square metre Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre (HHLC) will be based at the University of Huddersfield and is expected to welcome 20,000 visitors annually after its projected opening in March next year.

A joint collaboration between the University and the Leeds-based Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association (HSFA), the latter having begun archiving material in the early 1990s.

The new centre will feature this archived material, together with oral testimonies given in English as well as special displays, in an exhibition designed to be educational and involving, with school visits in mind.

Emma King, the centre’s director, said the focus would be on the experience of Holocaust survivors and refugees – including survivors of the camps and children who came to Britain on the Kindertransport – who found refuge in the North of England.

Emma King

Emma King

“We have a growing collection of testimony from survivors that hasn’t been used for academic research so far,” she said. “It’s waiting to be discovered.”

King said the archive would be able to draw on a large number of photographs and images from pre-war Jewish life, adding that the themes raised there will be relevant to contemporary debate over the treatment of refugees.