PLB : Local firm's heritage expertise to boost region's museums- Creative design and consultancy for cultural and natural heritage

Local firm's heritage expertise to boost region's museums

North Yorkshire heritage design company PLB Ltd has been selected to help the region’s museums increase visitor numbers and enhance community engagement.

Malton-based PLB is amongst four companies commissioned by Renaissance Yorkshire as part of its mentoring scheme designed to help boost visitor numbers and improve the quality of visitor experiences.

PLB will share its extensive heritage design knowledge with a number of Yorkshire museums and heritage teams, providing support over a six-month period that runs until February 2012.

Among the organisations that projects director Sarah Oswald and Amanda Peacock, senior consultant, will mentor are York’s Merchant Adventurers, Wakefield Museum Services, Ripon Museums Trust, Wilderspin National School in Barton on Humber and the Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond.

The team is providing support in two areas; audience development, which involves evaluating how audience data is gathered and how it is used to help inform future activities, developments and events as well as to improve the services offered and interpretive planning support to help create more popular and sustainable attractions. Both mentoring programmes will also help the organisations to develop their evidence base and support for funding applications.

Lauren Marshall, Merchant Adventurers Hall Manager and Audience Development Officer, says, “Being able to tap into the expertise and knowledge PLB has to offer is invaluable.

"We’re currently analysing our visitor feedback mechanisms and we’re already looking at the possibility of utilising other areas of the building for exhibition space, which will provide an opportunity to engage with a wider audience and broaden our outreach.”

Sarah Oswald adds, “We’re thrilled to have been selected by Renaissance Yorkshire for the mentoring role and to be working with such forward-thinking organisations throughout the region.

“Many museums and heritage sites are under increasing budgetary pressures and, with further government cuts imminent, it is important to look strategically at implementing developments that are both manageable and sustainable.

“Building knowledge, capacity and skills in-house will enable these clients to move forward independently, perhaps tapping into support from external consultants when they need it, which provides them with a cost effective longer term solution.”

Renaissance Yorkshire is a publicly funded museum sector initiative, which provides development support to a diverse range of museums in the Yorkshire region using the skills of its own team supplemented, where appropriate, by external contractors and consultants.

Says a spokesperson for Renaissance Yorkshire, “PLB prepared a well-structured, thoughtful and focussed response to our invitation to tender which clearly addressed the programme requirements.

“The proposal indicated an understanding of the museum sector as well as allowing for the required level of flexibility to provide a bespoke response to the individual needs of the museums.  This approach has also been reflected in the implementation of the work to date and the projects are ongoing.”

To view this story on the website of the Gazette and Herald please click here


For more information about this story, contact Sarah Oswald, PLB projects director, on 01653 698309.


Posted 30th November 2011

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