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Virtual heritage opportunities via The Heritage Alliance: More events to add to your calendar

The heritage sector has had to adapt over the past year, but at the start of 2021, heritage institutions across the country launched an array of online events to maintain heritage engagement and practice. The Heritage Alliance, an advocate for issues pertaining to national heritage practice, have flagged up a catalogue of online events, including their annual Heritage Day, which are going digital this year.

The Heritage Alliance is a non-profit organisation that aims to influence legislation, policy and guidance by supporting collaborative working and information-sharing between its members. It facilitates connections between members through events and online resources — which enable members to forward initiatives that seek to strengthen the financial resilience of the independent heritage sector.

This year, their Heritage Day event is being digitised across two mornings: the 24th and 25th March. It will include talks with Ministers such as Sir Laurie Magnus, who is the Chair of Historic England, as well as provide new digital experiences in a virtual reality format. Alongside this will be performances, opportunities for online networking and the presentation of the Heritage Heroes Awards.

Both Heritage Day mornings will begin at 10 am and finish at 1 pm, and will follow this schedule:

Wednesday 24th March:

  • Keynote speech from the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage Nigel Huddleston MP
  • Launch of The Heritage Alliance's new website
  • Historic Environment Forum video presentation
  • A specially commissioned series of performance history pieces showcasing 'Heritage throughout UK History'
  • Opportunities for networking
  • A virtual reality (VR) gallery experience

Thursday, 25th March

  • Keynote speech from Sir Laurie Magnus, Chair of Historic England
  • The launch of this year's Heritage Counts: Heritage and the Environment
  • A specially commissioned series of performance history pieces showcasing 'Heritage throughout UK History'
  • Highlights from across the sector
  • Opportunities for networking
  • Heritage Heroes Awards

Tickets for this event cost £11.19-£27.09 and can be booked via Eventbrite.

In addition to Heritage Day, the Heritage Alliance are hosting Heritage Digital, a National Lottery Heritage funded project that offers free webinars and by-application workshops. The workshops, of which there are 20 places available, can be applied for via the Heritage Digital website.

Throughout February and March, the Alliance are promoting a variety of heritage events including: 

On 18th February, a webinar will be chaired by Jane Gibson from the Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site, on Visitor Centres in a Changing World. The event aims to investigate ways of adapting visitor centres in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On 25th February, the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre will host its fourth annual heritage lecture, led by Professor Laura Jane Smith of Australian National University. Professor Smith will discuss ‘The Emotional Politics of Heritage’ via Zoom. Tickets are free and can be accessed here:

On 11th March, The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) are holding a talk on ‘Transforming Places: revitalising historic high streets.’Presented by Matthew Mckeague from the Architectural Heritage Fund, the talk will consider new uses for old buildings up against conservation projects that seek to transform places and communities. The event will also touch on new ways of thinking about heritage that can transform the way people engage with old buildings and historic places. Tickets cost £6 and can be booked via the SPAB website.

To see a full list of upcoming heritage events please see: