by Susan Kruse
Did you know that there are around 100 heritage organisations and over 50 museums in the Highlands – and a number of community trusts and individuals who have heritage projects on the go? Few of us know what others are doing, and we rarely have a chance to meet up. ARCH has over the years tried to find out contact details, in part due to work organising the Highland Archaeology Festival over the last 7 years on behalf of Highland Council Historic Environment Team.
It seemed time to organise a day when we could meet up, promote our activities, and share problems and successes. The last time was over 15 years ago in Strathpeffer, and I remember what a great event that was! ARCH applied for funding from Historic Environment Scotland to cover venue hire, catering and transport costs for people, with further organising support donated by ARCH. Representatives from NoSAS, Museums Heritage Highland, Wardlaw Trust and Highland Archaeology Services helped to plan a heritage day, leaving lots of time for networking and discussion. A number of volunteers also helped with lunches and logistics on the day.
Around 130 people from 60 organisations from throughout the Highlands came to Dingwall Academy on the 4th March 2023. Most groups brought a stall to showcase their work. In the morning there were discussion groups to discuss common problems facing heritage organisations, including thoughts on how to address these, and ways to collaborate with one another. In the afternoon five parallel workshops were run addressing issues of volunteering, engaging with the community, climate change, organisation sustainability, and funding.Continue reading