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.

Severn Valley Railway

Client: Severn Valley Railway

The Severn Valley Railway (SVR) is one of the UK’s most well-loved and well used heritage railways, carrying over 250,000 passenger a year, with mission to build public affection for, and understanding of, steam travel.

Project

• ‘The Falling Sands Viaduct Project’ is a major £1.5m HLF funded project to repair a magnificent 7-arch late Victorian viaduct – a key piece of the SVR’s infrastructure. The viaduct carries steam trains over the River Stour and Staffordshire and Worcestershire.
• The project includes new interpretation, wide ranging community activities, targeted schools programme and new volunteering opportunities.

How we helped

• The SVR has a complex structure of 3 organisations, with an excellent level of skills but without a staff member with overall responsibility for activity and interpretation, so CCN worked to coordinate the input of several management staff and volunteer managers.
• CCN generated new partnerships with community organisations such as an over 50s sheltered housing company and an HE academy.
• To ensure maximum impact from a limited activity budget, CCN developed a series of activities, such as reenactor navvies performing on train services, which would both support the interpretation themes and enhance the main passenger experience.
• CCN involved external partners in the creating the interpretation themes and guided new historical research with expert volunteers to provide evidence of the story of the Viaduct.
• The project will test for the first time in the SVR’s operation, a mobile interpretation carriage to act as a teaser for stories explored in its main visitor centre – The Engine House at Highley.

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