Telling a Story: The Place for Heritage in the Creative Industries

On the 17th of September, The Heritage Alliance will be launching a report highlighting the role of heritage spaces, organisations and stories in underpinning the success of the creative industries in Britain. Historic landscapes and narratives inspire stories, art, performances, and even new technology. Heritage organisations are partners for many creative practitioners in their search for funding, and creative organisations enable exciting new ways of storytelling for diverse audiences. This report illustrates the fantastic projects and experiences that are already happening when heritage producers and creative practitioners work together. From music festivals, to VR experiences, exhibition design and evocative poetry, the heritage stories of this country inspire new ways of viewing the world, and our shared history.


The Heritage Alliance was present at the two days of talks and workshops at the University of Oxford as part of the Heritage Storytelling projects. During these workshops, I was able to meet creative practitioners, academics and other heritage producers who are interested in utilising new technology, as well as traditional creative practice, to engage new audiences in heritage stories and diversify the users of heritage spaces in this country. I met Arcade Ltd who specialise in augmented reality to help culture and heritage sites captivate visitors. Together, we embarked on a project with The Ragged School Museum to produce a prototype app that will teach people about the museum and its history with the help of Miss Perkins, a Victorian schoolteacher. The funding for this project was provided by The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) and two Oxford researchers gave invaluable background and insight into the content of the script for the app.


The app will launch at the event on the 17th of September, showcasing how integral new technology and creative practice are to telling heritage stories. It will be great fun to try out an app that makes a Victorian schoolteacher appear in front of you in a room full of modern people! 


The report from The Heritage Alliance also captures a number of recommendations for the creative industries and the heritage sector in how to create more productive relationships and improve communication for stronger outcomes. Alongside these, there are recommendations for Government and policymakers on how they can better support creative heritage projects as well as the heritage and creative industries more widely. The Heritage Alliance hopes these recommendations will lead to the delivery of skills and capacity building workshops, best practice discussions and improvements in communication and evaluation methods, to highlight a few possible outcomes.


The Heritage Alliance is grateful for the support of TORCH on this project, and the input from many University of Oxford colleagues, including submitting case studies, attending our roundtable discussions, funding the prototype app project and promoting our project so widely. We look forward to sharing the report on the 17th of September.




Hannah Shimko

Project Lead; Heritage & The Creative Industries

The Heritage Alliance


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