IHBC research signpost: Ecclesiastical Heritage Risk Barometer 2020

The Ecclesiastical Heritage Risk Barometer 2020 offers research to help answer the question: ‘How can the heritage sector adapt and thrive in the digital age’?

… Not tech for tech’s sake… themes developed in a one-day workshop…

… report captures the findings of all the research…

Ecclesiastical Insurance writes:

We live in an age where technology shapes the world around us. Yet traditional definitions of heritage tend to carry more analogue associations. Bricks and mortar, fabric and wood – what business do these have in the digital world and how can they be expected to compete with video games and online streaming services?

The COVID-19 pandemic changed all of that. Technology became fundamental to our survival and the heritage sector had to embrace a new way of interacting with audiences. Museum tours went virtual, theatre productions were live-streamed and family activities went online.

As the leading insurer of Grade I listed buildings in the UK, we’ve been trusted to protect some of the nation’s most treasured properties for over 130 years. Our passion for heritage runs deep and we want to see the sector continue to not just survive but thrive. We believe the changes catalysed by the COVID-19 pandemic present a unique opportunity for the heritage sector and organisations within it to embrace technology and use it to both reduce risk and enhance visitor experiences. How it does this will be key to its survival.

The future of heritage will be the perfect combination of analogue and digital. Not tech for tech’s sake but tech for progress’s sake. These were some of the themes developed in a one-day workshop in the stunning Kenwood House on London’s Hampstead Heath back in October 2019. Back then, the industry had little idea what events were about to follow but the issues discussed then will undoubtedly remain perennial.

Following the workshop, we surveyed 102 heritage organisations in January and February 2020, to help us get a deeper understanding of the issues raised. It was shortly after this that the outbreak of COVID-19 began and so we have carried out additional research in September 2020 with 500 decision makers who work at museums, galleries, theatres, stately homes and castles, to get the latest perspective. This report captures the findings of all the research and shines a light on the opportunities and challenges of using technology in the heritage sector.

Download the PDF

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