Iconic’s portfolio of heritage and cultural projects reflects the rich and varied nature of the sector. We’ve been involved in projects involving castles, listed buildings, art galleries, museums, visitor centres, historic ships and, most recently, a bridge.
A great deal of our work has been as evaluation consultants for National Lottery Heritage Funded (NLHF) projects. As evaluation consultants we’ve had two key roles. Firstly, we’ve ensured everything is in place at the outset of the projects to gather, record, interpret and present evidence that fully reflects the implementation and impact of the physical restoration of the heritage asset as well as the accompanying community and learning programmes. This element has included developing monitoring and evaluation frameworks and a range of research tools like visitor surveys, learner feedback forms, and ways of measuring volunteers’ progression. Secondly, we are producing mid-term and final evaluation reports required by NLHF, and other funders, reviewing projects against their stated aims. Examples of our evaluation consultancy work includes:
- The £7m restoration of Moat Brae House - a Category B listed Georgian mansion house in Dumfries – to create a national centre for children’s literature and storytelling celebrating the setting that inspired JM Barrie to write Peter Pan.
- The £4m restoration of Hylton Castle a Grade 1 Listed, Scheduled Ancient Monument in Sunderland dating from the fourteenth century into a flexible community, cultural and learning resource. The local community campaigned for decades to secure the restoration of the Castle which featured on Channel 4’s Time Team in 1995.
- The £4m redevelopment of Hatton Gallery in Newcastle which houses an impressive collection of, primarily modern and contemporary, art including the famous Merz Barn Wall by Kurt Schwitters. The project involved wide ranging outreach and learning programmes with schools and communities, including refugee and asylum seekers.
- The £500,000 conservation of Skylark IX a former cargo vessel with a rich history as a World War II minesweeper, decoy, and Dunkirk Little Ship. The project has very close ties with Alternatives WD, a third sector substance misuse organisation, and will be used to support service users with their recovery.
- The £8m conservation of Union Chain Bridge a Category A/Grade 1 Listed bridge linking Scotland and England over the River Tweed. The first suspension bridge in Europe to carry wheeled traffic, the innovative engineering techniques used to construct it have been incorporated into a STEM learning programme for schools on both sides of the border which aims to inspire a new generation of engineers.
- The £1.4m Storas Ulbha project on the Isle of Ulva which will celebrate the history of the island and the impact of its people across the world. The project includes the restoration of Ulva House, a Grade B listed former Estate House into a visitor centre, community meeting space, educational resources, office space and self-catering accommodation.
In addition, Iconic was the Learning Partner for the British Council’s NLHF-funded Our Shared Cultural Heritage project. OSCH used creative methods to engage young people from the South Asian communities in Glasgow and Manchester to explore their cultural heritage and develop plans for more engaging and culturally relevant activities.