Interpretation and community engagement planning – Archives+

A major project within Manchester with a total value of £50mill. , Archives+ provides a new destination in the heart of the city.  Archives+ is a new partnership and a new public space which is part of Manchester Central Library and Town Hall Complex Transformation Programme. The project brings together the 5 archive partners into one space in the new central library in Manchester with the development of a major new exhibition and heritage destination, a programme of public events, community outreach and learning programmes. The project aims to increase access to archives and change the profile archive users by specifically targeting new audiences. The project opened to much public acclaim in spring 2014.

Janice Tullock Associates were contracted to research and develop an activity and interpretation plan which supported HLF’s aims of participation and learning. We worked closely with the client to get a deep understanding of their needs and ensure that there was ownership of the Activity Plan with key stakeholders. The project was a complex one, with numerous partners, contractors and consultants and it was vital for us to develop strong communication lines and project management throughout the programme. Key ways of working were:

  • Ensuring the activities meet audience needs
  • Developing activities grounded in best practice
  • Ensuring ownership of the project from internal and external stakeholders
  • Strategic development grounded in evidence based research
  • Strong project management, involving other key consultants and agencies at key milestones.

Outcomes achieved included:

  • An activity plan which is responsive to the needs of audiences
  • Target audiences who already feel a connection to the programme
  • A ground-breaking programme of activities which draws on best practice
  • A partnership which feels ownership of the programme
  • A strong working relationship with Mather & Co who delivered the interpretation and exhibition design
  • A sustainable plan which will thrive beyond the life of the HLF funding
  • A successful funding application to HLF.

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