Consultancy - International Centre for Heritage

We are a creative arts and heritage consultancy, based at the University of Birmingham, specialising in supporting cultural heritage sites, groups and organisations to holistically and robustly evaluate their programmes and projects.

We act as a critical friend, working collaboratively with organisations to develop strategies that benefit organisations, communities and visitor’s wellbeing and wider social values. Our central ethos is to provide the tools for cultural organisations, their teams, and communities to flourish, to keep learning, to connect, to be active, take notice and to give.

Our Background

Our small team has been evaluating the impact of creative arts, community history and public heritage projects with commercial clients for over a decade. We started by supporting co-created and participatory community led heritage and public history projects with diverse communities, based on an understanding that Cultural Heritage has unique values, and can be a platform for wider social and human rights.

Through this work we realised that anecdotal evidence of change was not enough to guarantee long term support for cultural heritage sites, programmes and projects. We worked with psychologists and social scientists to develop robust evaluation tools to support communities and organisations to measure the impact of their work and provide ‘real’ evidence of change to support long-term organisational and project sustainability.

Featured Projects

‘Well-City Salisbury’

The team is assisting Well-City Salisbury, a consortium of 4 arts and heritage organisations delivering a three-year social prescribing project aiming to improve the wellbeing of individuals (children and adults) in Salisbury with a mental health need via 8-week creative arts and heritage courses, to create a Theory of Change model and evaluation and monitoring strategy. We act as a 'critical friend’ to the project partners, assisting with data collection, conducting analysis and reporting throughout the project.

Anxiety UK ‘Art for Anxiety Relief Course Evaluation’

The team is currently supporting Anxiety UK to measure the impact of their ‘Art for Anxiety Relief’ courses. These online arts courses are delivered over a series of six-week hourly sessions for people aged 18+, facilitated by artists with different styles of art and who use art as a coping mechanism to relieve anxiety. ‘Art for Anxiety Relief’ courses are designed to focus on the benefits of art in the management of anxiety and are open to both Anxiety UK members and non-members.

The Holburne Museum ‘Pathways to Wellbeing’

The team has been appointed to assist the Holburne Museum and partners in evaluating their well-established community creative arts and heritage wellbeing project. Via a series of groups and courses, the project aims to support local people with a mental health need to improve their wellbeing. 

Northern Heartlands ‘Hidden Heritage & Wellbeing’

The team is supporting Northern Heartlands to evaluate the impact of ‘Hidden Heritage & Wellbeing’, an 18-month community heritage project in the town of Willington and surrounding villages, Co Durham. The project aims to improve wellbeing and involve a wider group of people in local heritage via a series of creative heritage-based activities with a wide range of different community groups and individuals, culminating in a co-produced town-wide celebration event.

Dulwich Picture Gallery ‘Creative Arts Partnership Project’

The team has been appointment to measure the impact of the Tessa Jowell Centre and Dulwich Picture Gallery Creative Partnership Project, a multi-year creativity and wellbeing community project based at the Tessa Jowell Health Centre (TJHC). Between January 2022 and January 2025, TJHC and Dulwich Picture Gallery are working with various community partners – including community organisations, TJHC users and staff, NHS South London CCG, Southwark cultural organisations, artists and GPs – to deliver a creative programme designed to support physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

National Museum Wales and The Federation of Museums and Art Galleries Wales
‘Winter of Wellbeing Evaluation’

The team assisted Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales and the Federation of Museums and Galleries of Wales in creating evaluation materials, collating, and accessibly presenting evaluation data from the ‘Winter of Wellbeing Programme’ and ascertaining what element(s) of the programme successfully supported a sustainable improvement in wellbeing and decreased wellbeing inequality in young people.

Biltmore and Chatsworth House ‘Wellbeing and Human Dignity’

The team worked with Chatsworth House (UK) and Biltmore Estate (USA) to undertake a large-scale evaluation project to measure the impact of Biltmore and Chatsworth’s visitor engagement strategies and storied experiences on visitor wellbeing and human dignity. This also involves advising on strategic roadmaps, future vision statements and agendas.

Compton Verney ‘Compton Verney Chapel and Landscape Restoration Project’

The team appointed managed, undertook, and delivered the NHLF evaluation for ‘Compton Verney Chapel and Landscape Restoration Project.’ In addition to this we undertook a wellbeing impact scoping survey and strategy.

British Commercial Vehicle Museum
‘NLHF Capital Project/Refurbishment and Activity Plan Evaluation’

The team undertook a three-year evaluation of the British Commercial Vehicle Museum’s refurbishment. This programme of work produced an evaluation framework, provided evaluation training for staff and volunteers, undertook data collection and analysis, and produced NHLF evaluation report.