£1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions

Announcement, News, press release, Uncategorized

s300_CultureInv_GOV_UK

Britain’s globally renowned arts, culture and heritage industries will receive a world-leading £1.57 billion rescue package to help weather the impact of coronavirus, the government announced today.

  • Future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues will be protected with emergency grants and loans
  • Funding will also be provided to restart construction work at cultural and heritage sites paused as a result of the pandemic

Thousands of organisations across a range of sectors including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will be able to access emergency grants and loans.

The money, which represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture, will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic. It will help them stay afloat while their doors are closed. Funding to restart paused projects will also help support employment, including freelancers working in these sectors.

Many of Britain’s cultural and heritage institutions have already received unprecedented financial assistance to see them through the pandemic including loans, business rate holidays and participation in the coronavirus job retention scheme. More than 350,000 people in the recreation and leisure sector have been furloughed since the pandemic began.

This new package will be available across the country and ensure the future of these multi billion-pound industries are secured.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

From iconic theatre and musicals, mesmerising exhibitions at our world-class galleries to gigs performed in local basement venues, the UK’s cultural industry is the beating heart of this country.

This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the UK can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down.

Oliver Dowden Culture Secretary said

Our arts and culture are the soul of our nation. They make our country great and are the lynchpin of our world-beating and fast growing creative industries.

I understand the grave challenges the arts face and we must protect and preserve all we can for future generations. Today we are announcing a huge support package of immediate funding to tackle the funding crisis they face. I said we would not let the arts down, and this massive investment shows our level of commitment.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer said:

Our world-renowned galleries, museums, heritage sites, music venues and independent cinemas are not only critical to keeping our economy thriving, employing more than 700,000 people, they’re the lifeblood of British culture.

That’s why we’re giving them the vital cash they need to safeguard their survival, helping to protect jobs and ensuring that they can continue to provide the sights and sounds that Britain is famous for.

The package announced today includes funding for national cultural institutions in England and investment in cultural and heritage sites to restart construction work paused as a result of the pandemic. This will be a big step forward to help rebuild our cultural infrastructure. This unprecedented package includes:

  • £1.15 billion support pot for cultural organisations in England delivered through a mix of grants and loans. This will be made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million grants.
  • £100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust.
  • £120 million capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The new funding will also mean an extra £188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million).

Decisions on awards will be made working alongside expert independent figures from the sector including the Arts Council England and other specialist bodies such as Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

Repayable finance will be issued on generous terms tailored for cultural institutions to ensure they are affordable. Further details will be set out when the scheme opens for applications in the coming weeks.

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said:

Covid-19 has hit all sectors of our economy hard, including our heritage. The historic places that help define our country are at risk of being lost forever. This emergency funding package from the Government, including £50m for heritage put at risk during the pandemic, will be a lifeline for our sector, kickstarting repair works at our historic sites which matter most to local communities. It also helps the organisations which look after so many of our precious historic sites, and protects livelihoods of skilled craft workers and businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. It will help to secure a sustainable future for the sector and those working in it, often with years of irreplaceable experience.”

Blenheim Palace UNESCO World Heritage Site re-opens to visitors

Blenheim Palace, News

Blenheim Palace's Second State Room

Blenheim Palace is set to open its doors to visitors again from Saturday, 4th July.

Widely regarded as a masterpiece of 18th century Baroque architecture, ‘Britain’s Greatest Palace’ was built as a gift to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, from Queen Anne and a grateful nation in thanks for his victory at the Battle of Blenheim on 13th August 1704.

The Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site houses one of the most important and extensive collections in Europe, which includes portraits, furniture, sculpture and tapestries.

To mark its re-opening the Palace is also putting on display a set of four Marlborough family portraits; one of which features the 4th Duke of Marlborough as a child and has never been on show to the public before.

Other new features will see the Library decorated in the style of the 1920s and the coronation robes, chairs and coronets used by the 10th Duke and Duchess for the crowning of King George VI in 1937 will also be on show.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy al fresco dining in a series of outdoor marquee pods in the Italian Garden next to the Orangery restaurant, which will be serving lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

As part of its re-opening Blenheim Palace has introduced a series of ‘keeping safe’ measures.

Daily visitor numbers are limited and admission is only via online pre-booking. Visitors will be welcomed at a safe distance, all transactions are cashless and staff in key engagement areas will be wearing personal protective equipment and be behind protective screens.

New signage, barriers and announcements form part of the visit, and additional staff are on hand to provide advice and information. Extra temporary outdoor toilets with washing and hand sanitising areas have also been set up.

Visitors can also watch an explanatory video online prior to arriving on site, which clearly explains the new procedures.

For more information please contact Steph Duncan on 07881 356 736 or at SDuncan@blenheimpalace.com or Drew Cunliffe at drew@flamingo-marketing.co.uk .

Note: The Untold Story and the Churchill Exhibition will remain closed, although visitors will have access to the bedroom where Churchill was born.

UNESCO sites lead the way on sustainable development and create value for communities across the UK

Announcement, News, Uncategorized

Dorset and East Devon Coast

Published today (25 June 2020) by the UK National Commission for UNESCO, new research shows UNESCO projects can help build a greener, more equal and more peaceful world, while also creating financial value.

UK Government Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston MP said: “From Stonehenge to Jodrell Bank, our UNESCO sites tell the story of our shared history and attract visitors from all over the world. This research is testament to the important role these sites play in their local communities and, once it is safe to do so, we will be encouraging people to visit.”

UNESCO projects in the UK generate an estimated £151 million of financial benefit to local communities each year and help bring them together to protect and conserve some of the most important places across the country.

Set up as a specialised agency of the United Nations in the wake of the Second World War, UNESCO harnesses the power of education, culture, science, communication and information to advance global peace building, sustainable development, intercultural dialogue and the eradication of poverty.

From expansive mountain ranges in the Highlands of Scotland to densely populated urban areas such as Belfast, Bradford and Manchester, UNESCO certified projects include Global Geoparks, World Heritage Sites, Biosphere Reserves and Creative Cities. The projects span 12% of the UK’s land area and comprise of partnerships between 1,300 organisations, charities, and businesses.

These partnerships are made mainly on a local level, between hundreds of groups all working together to support efforts in conservation, research, education, capacity building and tourism. This new research shows that continued investment in UNESCO projects is critical in helping the UK and devolved governments meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report is the first to examine the cultural, environmental and financial benefits to UK life from these diverse UNESCO projects, and their active contribution to the SDGs. Along with preserving precious landscapes, buildings and archives, UNESCO projects are also leading research on vital issues such as water scarcity, refugee integration, climate change and child literacy.

“This research shows the unique value offered by UNESCO projects in the UK. They embody community and enable us to preserve and enjoy our most special places and culture. They also pioneer solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems and inspire hope in these unprecedented times. Within this report are a number of case studies that can help inform the UK’s path towards a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis.”

James Bridge, Secretary-General of the UK National Commission for UNESCO

Environment and Community

The research highlights the cultural, environmental and financial value of 76 UNESCO projects in the UK. It reveals a creative network rooted in community, rich in potential, and impacting lives here and around the world.

Examples of UNESCO projects with a positive impact on the environment and communities:

  • The Jurassic Coast Trust in Dorset is an umbrella organisation responsible for a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering 95 miles of beautiful coastline. The Trust believes the Jurassic Coast is best looked after by the people who visit it, use it and love it, and are focused as much on the people and communities as upon the rocks, landscape and fossils. They are working to ensure a financially sustainable coastline that is supported by a network of dedicated schools, community groups, volunteers and businesses.

“We are part of this huge global family of World Heritage Sites that celebrate these outstanding features, natural or cultural; it is a very powerful concept that these values transcend national and political boundaries.”

Anjana Khatwa, Programme Manager, Learning at the Jurassic Coast Trust.

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  • Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark is the first cross-border Geopark in the world, and crosses the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The geopark is dedicated to telling the story of our planet through its unique natural, cultural and geological heritage, and its cross-border nature forms a crucial part of the Geopark’s outreach and engagement programme. The Geopark Science Week brings 500 schoolchildren from both sides of the border together to study their shared geological heritage. Demand for the Science Week is high, but a lack of resources restricts the Geopark from hosting it more often.

“The job and excitement and delight when we present material to young people in a fashion that engages them – you can see that you are igniting that enthusiasm in them for our geological heritage and they want to find out more.”

Martina O’Neil, Marble Arch Caves Geopark Development Officer.  

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  • The Isle of Man UNESCO Biosphere Reserve has launched a badge with the UK’s Girlguiding charity. The initiative seeks to support girls and young women to get closer to nature, learn more about sustainability and tackle issues such as hunger, poverty, gender inequality and climate change.

“The badge encourages young members and leaders in our organisation to think about the world around them – to understand the meaning of ‘community’, get involved and make things better. If we can instil these thoughts and actions in our young people, it will make our Island and beyond a better place.”

Karen Walker, Commissioner of Girlguiding Isle of Man.

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  • The UNESCO trail in Scotland is a digital asset to be launched in partnership with VisitScotland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and Scotland’s UNESCO designations. The trail connects 13 UNESCO designations and aims to increase the value of tourism to these sites by encouraging visitors to stay longer and spend more locally, improving, in turn, the quality of life of the local communities. The trail was due to be launched in early 2020 but has been delayed until after the coronavirus crisis.

“If we lost UNESCO status, what would make us different from any other community organisation? I feel that it gives me more confidence both to be entrepreneurial and to write a funding application. It’s not just us that thinks we’re special, the UN thinks that it’s special. It shows you that you’ve got the outside support – that something beyond the UK, Europe, globally, has said that “We believe that this organisation has the ability to manage this heritage and we believe that it’s special.”

Dr Laura Hamlet, Geopark Coordinator at the North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark

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  • The Dyfi UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Wales has been struggling to make the desired impact on the region and local communities. There is a commitment to celebrate and support the Welsh language and culture, but a lack of resources limits the necessary collaboration needed. Vital funding is essential to strengthen the network and support sustainable development, in line with Wales’ Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015.

“The visitors and potential visitors are an important audience but actually not really as important as the local community, including business. So, it’s critical for us that we have that sort of groundswell of support.”

Andy Rowland, Coordinator, Dyfi Biopshere Reserve

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“Particularly striking is how all designations place the community at the core of their work. Their commitment to UNESCO’s values and objectives means they share a strong interest in bringing people together to build and nurture meaningful relationships with nature, heritage and each other.”

2020 UNESCO National Value Report

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Economy

UNESCO World Heritage Sites rank among the most visited attractions in 2018 and are significant contributors to the UK economy. The research analysed the impact of being granted official UNESCO status, which has helped the 76 sites and projects surveyed generate an estimated £151 million to the UK economy in just one year.

However, the total figure disguises significant variations, even before the challenges brought by Covid-19. Some sites struggle to secure sufficient funding whether through tourism or other means, due to a low profile and lack of resources, and these problems will have been exacerbated during the lockdown. Investment in these sites is critical to increase cross-disciplinary work and enhance their contribution to the UK economy.

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, said: “At a time when we all look for solutions to build more resilient societies after Covid-19, UNESCO sites offer a wealth of concrete actions to reinvent our relationship with nature, to develop decent jobs and foster social cohesion. This report by the UK National Commission to UNESCO is a blueprint for sustainability, and I believe all Countries can take inspiration from this research.”

World Heritage UK Chair’s Christmas message

Announcement, News, Uncategorized, World Heritage UK

Bath Abbey 006 (1)

On behalf of all the Board of Trustees at World Heritage UK,  I wish all our members, supporters and your families a very happy and restful Christmas.

2019 has been a busy year, set against a turbulent political back-drop and with the need to urgently address global environmental challenges which are undoubtedly becoming the defining issue of our age. We know through our networks the hard work that goes on every day at all of our 32 UK World Heritage Sites, often undertaken by just a few dedicated people and a pocketful of change. Hard work, creative minds and professional expertise then turn these ingredients into heritage protection and interpretation which is the envy of the world.

Christmas is a time for thankfulness and optimism. Perhaps we can look forward to a little more political stability in 2020?  …and maybe even the prospect of more funding?!  Whatever the New Year will bring, we will face it collectively with enthusiasm, mutual support and the knowledge that what we deliver, in conserving our irreplaceable cultural and natural heritage, is cherished by so many in this generation and those who will succeed us.  They can’t always say thank you for all that you do, but I can.

Happy Christmas!

Tony

Tony Crouch
Chair of Trustees
World Heritage UK

Durham Castle and Cathedral welcomes World Heritage UK delegates

Durham Cathedral, Events, News, World Heritage UK

World Heritage UK notched up another success in its vibrant events programme last week with over 60 delegates and speakers filling the Prior’s Hall at the Durham Castle and Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site, to hear a wide range of speakers and experience some very special opportunities provided by their hosts. These included access to the new ‘Open Treasure’ exhibition which presented rare artefacts telling the story of St Cuthbert in the most intact medieval monastic buildings in the UK; sitting in the magnificent Durham Cathedral C17th Quire during evensong soaking up the atmosphere created by the Hexham Abbey Choir; self-guided tours around the Castle and Cathedral with exceptional volunteer guides on hand; and a visit to Hadrian’s Wall, part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire UNESCO World Heritage Site, accompanied by top experts in the field. Feedback forms are still coming in but we are expecting a positive response overall and would like to thank all involved in Durham for making us all feel so welcome with their generous hospitality.

Group Hadrian's Wall

This summer networking event – ‘All Together Now – Sustainable World Heritage’ – brought together many expert speakers on a variety of subjects, from cultural property protection and peace to community engagement, young people and volunteering; from world heritage tourism in the north of England to heritage sustainability issues in South Asia and North Africa. The intention is to share the presentations via the World Heritage UK website in due course.

Prior's Hall

These are great ways to see the UK’s 32 world heritage sites, learn more about them and meet the dedicated community of world heritage people who work in and around them. If you would like to take part in one of World Heritage UK’s special events, your next opportunity to do so is at the annual conference, this year being held at the Llangollen Pavilion in North Wales, hosted by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site on the 7th and 8th October 2019. Here we will be discussing the soon-to-be-published review of the UK’s World Heritage Sites and will have a national and international cast of speakers from all parts of the UK and Australia, China and the USA to help us do so. Side events and tours include a barge (or walk) over Thomas Telford’s famous aqueduct, a horse-drawn boat trip on the Llangollen canal, a heritage steam railway experience and a civic reception and dinner with a Welsh Male Voice Choir. Tickets are available now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/making-the-most-of-world-heritage-tickets-66862803445

Our events are becoming increasingly popular so book soon to avoid disappointment!

With thanks to Historic England and Purcell for their support for the Durham event.

‘Making the Most of World Heritage’ – 2019 conference announcement

Conference, Events, Llangollen 2019, News, UNESCO, Wales, WHS Review, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

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The Board of Trustees of World Heritage UK is pleased to announce the details of its 5th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting, this year to be hosted by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Llangollen Pavilion near Wrexham in North Wales on the 7th and 8th October 2019.

Following the imminent publication of the State of UK World Heritage Sites Review, this conference will adopt some of the report’s main themes and explore the issues and prospective outcomes that it highlights with a range of speakers from home and overseas.

Along with exciting site visit experiences and your chance to ask questions of a panel of experts, do join: Deputy Minister for Culture Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas; from the USA, Global Philadelphia Association Executive Director Zabeth Teelucksingh; from the World Cultural Heritage Centre of China, Yan Haiming; Author and researcher Bailey Ashton Adie and Head of Tourism and Heritage at DCMS, Giles Smith (all pictured above) along with Michael Macdonough, Chief Archaeologist at the Irish Government and many more. Themes of ‘Financing sites and governance models’, ‘Heritage, soft power and diplomacy’ and the ‘Impacts and Benefits of Tourism’, in particular will be under the spotlight.

You can find the latest draft v8 programme Pontcysyllte  and you can book your place on the conference registration site HERE (early booking recommended to avoid disappointment and to secure accommodation in advance).

World Heritage UK is grateful to the following sponsors and supporters who have helped make this event possible:

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Congratulations Jodrell Bank UNESCO World Heritage Site!

News, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites

World Heritage UK welcomes the news from the 43rd meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan, that the Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope in Cheshire has become the UK’s 32nd World Heritage Site.

You can hear from the nomination proponents below and see the entire press release with endorsements HERE

Already a Member of World Heritage UK as a Tentative Site on the UNESCO list, World Heritage UK welcomes Jodrell Bank as a fully-fledged UNESCO World Heritage Site and look forward to our continued working with you to support all the UK’s World Heritage Sites.

We also look forward to celebrating this success at our Summer Meeting in Durham where senior members of the hard-working Jodrell Bank team will be joining us for a fabulous 2 day (optional 3 day) event at the Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site. There are just the last few tickets for this left, available HERE if you would like meet them and share in their success. The meeting is “All Together Now – Sustainable World Heritage”, at Durham Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th August 2019 (with optional 8th August field visit to sites on Hadrian’s Wall, part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire UNESCO World Heritage Site). To see the latest event programme please email chris.mahon@worldheritageuk.org

We look forward to seeing you there!

Chris Mahon                                                                                                                          Development Director, World Heritage UK, on behalf of the World Heritage UK Board of Trustees

Happy World Heritage Day!

News, UNESCO, world heritage day, World Heritage Sites
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Exploring the City of Bath World Heritage Site

While celebrations take place across the UK’s 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to mark the annual World Heritage Day today, the business of protecting these precious places continues, and World Heritage UK notes with sadness the damage by fire to Notre Dame Cathedral in the Banks of the Seine World Heritage Site in Paris, one of the 73 properties inscribed by UNESCO for France.

World Heritage UK continues to consolidate and strengthen, and will be aided by the recruitment of a Resilience Coordinator  funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund – this vacancy is still open for candidates and if you are interested in applying you can see more detail here

Watch this space for registration links to two upcoming events – the Summer Networking Meeting to be held at the Durham Cathedral World Heritage Site on the 6th and 7th August (with an optional coach excursion on the 8th August to Hadrian’s Wall, part of the transnational Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site), and the World Heritage UK Annual Conference and AGM, this year to be hosted by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site at the Llangollen Pavilion near Wrexham, on the 7th and 8th October.

Enjoy World Heritage Day 2019!

National Lottery Heritage Fund logo

World Heritage UK wins National Lottery support

Announcement, Awards, communications, Fundraising, Jobs, News, Opportunities, press release, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage UK

National Lottery Heritage Fund logo

World Heritage UK has received a National Lottery grant of £100,000 for its ‘Unlocking the Potential’ project. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the funding provides essential support to achieve World Heritage UK’s Vision, where ‘the UK will have a coherent approach to World Heritage Sites, which will be better known, understood, and supported through sustainable funding so they can provide inspiration, learning and enjoyment for society’.

The UK has 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites which collectively tell our island story. They include Neolithic monuments, palaces, cathedrals, castles, entire cities, stunning natural coastline and pioneering industrial heritage. Individually they can be a challenge to manage, but as an outstanding collection World Heritage UK works to raise their profile, advocate for support and resource, promote their values and facilitate networking, training and sharing of good practice. Grant funding allows World Heritage UK to become more sustainable, strengthening the organisation with costs of new staff, professional guidance for improved governance, strategy and business development, fundraising, marketing, communication and training.

Tony Crouch giving talkWorld Heritage UK Chairman Tony Crouch said, “The UK is a world leader in terms of heritage management and our UNESCO World Heritage Sites need and deserve a strong body to help protect, promote and interpret our outstanding collection. World Heritage UK, with the valuable assistance of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, can step up and fully fulfil that role.”

Vanessa Harbar, Head of National Lottery Heritage Fund West Midlands, said “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this project will help strengthen World Heritage UK and ensure that the county’s rich and fascinating heritage is better managed, protected and shared with local people and visitors.”

About World Heritage UK

cropped-newlogobeatnick-test.png     World Heritage UK (www.worldheritageuk.org) is a charitable organisation set up in 2015 to undertake networking, advocacy and promotion for the UK’s 31 outstanding World Heritage Sites, and the Tentative List Sites progressing towards UNESCO World Heritage Site status.  World Heritage UK evolved out of the Local Authority World Heritage Forum , which was established as a Local Government Association special interest group in 1995, and which did a great deal of positive action to support the UK’s sites.

World Heritage UK is the only organisation exclusively focused on World Heritage in the UK, and the only one led by the World Heritage Sites themselves, reflecting a community-driven approach that has proven effective at many sites and which is favoured by UNESCO.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

National Lottery Heritage Fund logoUsing money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund  

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Tony Crouch, World Heritage UK Chair, at  tony.crouch@worldheritageuk.org or call 07875 488803 or  Chris Mahon, World Heritage UK Development Director at chris.mahon@worldheritageuk.org

Blaenavon welcomes ‘World Heritage Learning and Engagement’ technical workshop

Blaenavon, News, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Blaenavon group photo

Gareth Davies, Town Mayor of Blaenavon, hosted the forty participants from all four UK nations and the World Heritage UK President, Chris Blandford, at a civic reception at The Workmen’s Hall as part of a busy programme of activities at the World Heritage Learning and Engagement technical workshop held at the Blaenavon World Heritage Site in South Wales in February. These activities included a discussion on establishing a ‘World Heritage Learning and Engagement Network’, shared experiences amongst delegates of this important field of work with some useful and interesting case studies, hands-on creative workshops and some excellent site visits to the Ironworks and underground at Big Pit.

The varied presentations from the event are now available for sharing:

1 Introduction to Learning and Engagement by Ashleigh Taylor

2 Acting Locally, Thinking Globally by Dr Jamie Davies

3 Partnership with Purpose by David Williams and Dan Oliver

4 Engaging Young People in New Ways by Georgina Greaves

5 Unloved Heritage by Polly Groom

6 Evaluating Learning and Engagement by Ashleigh Taylor

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