Northern Ireland Inspire Tour
In the challenging landscape of a pandemic, five diverse heritage organisations undertook a transformative journey through the Steps to Sustainability Programme.
The unexpected union of a military museum, enterprise organisation, steam railway museum, Catholic priory, and Presbyterian abbey set the stage for a dynamic exchange of ideas, leadership, and collaboration.
The participating organisations, each embodying a slice of Northern Ireland and Scotland’s heritage, formed a somewhat random yet powerful coalition. The program’s strength lay in enabling these organisations through a framework that encouraged self-discovery rather than prescribing solutions. Led by the principle of cross-fertilization of collective abilities, the programme emphasized questioning the ‘Why’ of each organisation, fostering a deeper understanding, and encouraging collaboration.
While COVID restrictions initially thwarted in-person visits, the desire to connect and learn from each other persisted. The culmination of this aspiration took form in the ‘Inspire’ Tour in November 2023. This tour provided a tangible platform for key staff and board members to step out of the virtual realm and visit each other’s projects, sharing insights, challenges, and triumphs.
The Steps to Sustainability programme has not only empowered heritage organisations to reimagine their futures but also created a lasting network that transcends organisational boundaries. Through diverse dialogues and shared experiences, this initiative has paved the way for a more sustainable, interconnected future for these diverse institutions: