One of the goals of the Industrial Heritage Support Officer (IHSO) Project is to create and develop support networks for preserved industrial heritage sites and organisations across England. The Industrial Heritage Networks (IHNs) already help, and will further support the numerous sites and organisations in improving awareness and communications, broadening skills and knowledge, working in partnerships and staying relevant.
The IHNs are regional umbrella organisations providing free ‘peer to peer’ support to industrial heritage sites and organisations. The IHNs’ members analyse each other’s experiences, good and bad, decide the best ways forward, discuss and brainstorm, deal with common issues and share best practice. The members communicate with each other by attending two meetings a year but also, and more importantly, by staying in touch throughout the year either virtually via the dedicated online platform (Trello), or by meeting more regularly on a smaller scale.
To join your regional IHN all you need to do is contact the IHSO either by email, or telephone. Currently, there are active IHNs in the West Midlands and the North East. The other regions where IHNs will be created include London, East Midlands, East England, South West and South East. There are active networks in the North West and Yorkshire operating with the support from the Museum Development Officers (please contact the IHSO for more details).
The IHNs bring together like-minded individuals who care about industrial heritage and its sustainability. They are open to anyone with interest in, and the passion for industrial heritage with a focus on preserved, publicly accessible sites. This includes staff members, volunteers and private individuals involved with the sector in various capacities. Small, medium and big – a colliery, a mill, a canal – if it’s industrial heritage, get on board and join us!
Website dedicated to the IHNs is coming very soon – watch this space and follow @IHSOengland on Twitter for regular updates!