Cultural Consulting Network provides professional consultancy services to the heritage and arts sectors. Through challenge and support, we work closely with clients to understand their particular needs so that we can offer intelligent and workable solutions that bring lasting benefits.

Cultural Consulting Network provides professional consultancy services to the heritage and arts sectors. Through challenge and support, we work closely with clients to understand their particular needs so that we can offer intelligent and workable solutions that bring lasting benefits.

Abingdon Abbey Buildings

Client: Friends of Abingdon

• The Friends of Abingdon(FOA) was formed as a civic society in 1944 to arouse in the people of Abingdon a lively and practical interest in the town and to preserve what is best worth retaining amongst its old buildings and to encourage new buildings worth of its civic tradition and character. Since 1953, FOA has owned the complex known as Abingdon Abbey Buildings – a series of Grade I medieval structures which once formed part of the 6th wealthiest Abbey in England.

Project

• In February 2018, aware of increasing pressures on its sustainability and limitations to its ambitions, the FOA secured HLF Resilient Funding of £68,800 to undertake 5 interlinked pieces of work: a governance review; an architectural options appraisal; a business development plan; a stakeholder engagement plan; and a fundraising strategy.

How we helped

• CCN acted a mentor and evaluator for the Resilient Heritage project, supporting the Trustees and staff of the FOA to gain maximum value from the 5 pieces of work.
• CCN helped the FOA to challenge and support the work of their chosen consultants.
• CCN helped the FOA to consider related strands outside the parameters of the project, such as its aims for interpretation.
• CCN brought offered expert advice about the HLF and comparator projects to support the project’s progress.
• CCN undertook a summative evaluation of the project, using reflections from the FOA Trustees, to chart the progress of change achieved and lessons learnt.
• CCN wrote the Executive Summary of the project to effectively demonstrate the value of the 5 interrelated pieces of work.

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