We are delighted to report that work to deliver the Resilient Heritage project started in November 2018 after a grant of £42,900 was awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (towards total project costs of £69,292). It was completed in early December last year. The aim of the project was to undertake work that would help strengthen the organization, and bring our experience of working with Heritage at Risk to a wider audience.
So far we had been operating using just one part-time Project Organiser, seeking the ideal revolving-fund project, and working with Historic England and local authorities to reduce the amount of ‘Heritage at Risk’ in London. This had created a strong track record of project delivery, but we needed to know how to position ourselves in light of current trends and new funding opportunities. We also needed to know what type of projects to focus on, and how to sustain ourselves.
Daniel Rose, a Heritage Consultant with London-based experience, was commissioned to help us answer these questions. Steered by Rosie Fraser – vice chair and former Executive Director of the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, the findings of Daniel’s review were debated by the trustees, and the vast majority of the recommendations were adopted. Heritage Lincolnshire’s former Chief Executive, Liz Bates, was also used as a source of advice and a critical friend. (Heritage Lincolnshire had recently undertaken a similar Resilient Heritage project.)
The project involved a great deal of additional time and thought from all the trustees, and participation at several workshops led by external consultants on governance, fundraising and social impact. We also developed and delivered five community workshops on early stage project development for volunteers involved in looking after local heritage. Finally we completed an Options Appraisal for the South Ealing Cemetery Chapels.
We stretched the grant as far as possible using the contingency to commission the design of a logo for the new name, and deploying the skills of our project volunteer, Philip Smith, to support the preparation of a brand strategy. The key piece of work was the preparation of the 5-Year Strategic Plan. This was developed over the course of the project, and pulls together all the project outcomes. The success of the plan will be evaluated at regular intervals, and although its delivery has only recently started, we feel optimistic that we’re in a much stronger position now, than at the start of the Resilient Heritage project, and look forward to taking on new projects shortly.
Alice Yates, Resilient Heritage Project Manager
Project Funded by; the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Architectural Heritage Fund, Ealing Council and LHBT;