Achievements and Performance
Summary of significant activities during the year:
The trust has continued to support these objectives through various activities/projects under the following key theme
Creswell Crags Museum and Archaeology Park Project
The Trust has made significant advances towards the creation of a new Museum and Education Centre at Creswell Crags. Further to receiving support from the three principle funders – The Heritage Lottery Fund, East Midlands Development Agency, and the European Regional Development Fund- , the project design team carried out further design work which concluded with a full tender and appointment of Tomlinson Builders in December 2007. All statutory permissions (planning and scheduled monument consent) were secured and Tomlinson began construction in January 2008 with an anticipated build finish date of December 2008. The work was completed in June 2009 with the demolition of the old visitor facility taking place in April 2009.
The new Museum and Education Centre will integrate the operation of museum management, collection management, displays, visitor services and audience development, research, lifelong learning and site staff facilities, and will provide a gateway to the limestone gorge of Creswell Crags. The Trust awarded Continuum the contract to carry out the exhibition design and build.
Working in partnership with the Trust’s landlord, Welbeck Estates Co Limited, an Agreement for Lease and a draft Lease was agreed which would come into effect on building completion.
Conservation / Preservation Objectives
Following the completion of the new road diversion around the Creswell Crags gorge last year, works were completed this year at restoring the gorge to its original natural setting. As part of this scheme the old road was removed and replaced with a multi-user trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Access to two major caves on the north cliff was also improved with new steps leading up to Pin Hole and Mother Grundy’s Parlour. This completed scheme will assist the Trust with the objective of achieving World Heritage Status for Creswell Crags; the road and the water treatment works (relocated by Severn Trent Water in 2001) were major obstacles to achieving World Heritage Status inscription in 1986.
Further progress was made on the digitization of the core collection and the enhanced management of the collection including an online front end accessible through the internet as part of the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund
Interpretation and Learning Programmes
The Trust has enhanced its role as a major partner in the sub-region in the delivery of lifelong learning projects. Key achievements have included the continued successful delivery of the Living Literacy Project as part of the Local Strategic Partnerships Neighbourhood Renewal programme within the District of Bolsover. This project provided the capacity for all Primary and Secondary Schools within the District to engage with experiential learning at partner sites including Creswell Crags with the aim of raising standards in literacy. Additional LSP programmes have also enabled the Trust to develop resources and activities with other partners as part of the Creative Curriculum and enhance the sustainability of the organisation by developing an increased appeal to formal education providers.
The museum continued to strengthen the networks and partnership with the local community through a number of outreach projects with the support of English Heritage through the Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund which engaged local communities in heritage research associated with quarrying activity.
The Trust has continued to work with Creative Partnerships rolling out the delivery of a heritage based module on cultural identity, citizenship and sense of place.
As part of the Creswell Crags site interpretation a varied and innovative events programme ran throughout the year engaging with national campaigns such as National Archaeology Weekend, Museums and Galleries Month, and the Big Draw, in addition to community focussed events at Easter, throughout the school summer break (Ice Age Sports Day and the Summer Festival), and over the Christmas break. Project Officers continue to develop the audio trail for Creswell Crags to be launched in the spring of 2008 with support from the European Regional Development Fund and the Alliance Sub-Regional Strategic Partnership.
The wider consultancy role of the Trust continued with project officers working towards the development of an audio trail for Mansfield Town Centre.
Following on from the rock art research English Heritage are supporting the development of a popular publication on Creswell Crags and a draft text has been completed in the year.
The Trust has also continued to support the research programme by the University of Sheffield with a further season of excavation of the Victorian spoil tip conducted at Church Hole Cave during August. The excavation aimed to establish the range and quantity of archaeological material discarded by previous cave excavations in 1876 and clearly demonstrated the presence of in situ Ice Age deposits sealed by the Victorian spoil tip.
As part of a strategic approach to research a research advisory group met during the year with representation from English Heritage, Natural England and the University of Sheffield. The group will provide the forum for the development of a research strategy in the following year.
The core staff structure of the Trust has been consistent with the previous year in order to provide the operational capacity to deliver the core visitor services. In addition, specific project officers have been engaged with specific programmes to further the aims and objectives of the Trust.
PLANS FOR FUTURE PERIODS
Key objectives and planned activity for future periods will include:
Ongoing development towards the creation of a new museum and education centre with completion of the build in January 2009 and the creation of a centre for excellence in the interpretation of the Ice Age remains at Creswell Crags supported by loans from partner museums including the British Museum.
- Ongoing future preservation of the archaeological, geological and natural history resource at Creswell Crags through the implementation of the Conservation Plan.
- Increased effectiveness in the marketing and development of Creswell Crags with the launch of a new and identifiable brand.
- Ongoing development of the events and communication programme including the enhancement to the Trust’s online web presence and an improved events programme.
- Improved access and interpretation of the stories associated with Creswell Crags as part of the project Accessing Creswell Crags in Sound and Light and the creation of an audio-visual guide to the gorge with new interpretation panels, and the installation of a designed access platform for Church Hole.
- The publication of a popular book for Creswell Crags and the continued support for the research strategy advisory group and excavation by the University of Sheffield resulting in an improved interpretive product.
- Increased and strengthened partnerships with other local heritage attractions and life long learning organisations developing clear education benefits through education services.
- Continued community development work and capacity building among local communities, developing audiences at Creswell Crags and raising awareness of the historic landscape of the Magnesian Limestone Heritage Area.
- The completion of a digital and online catalogue of the museum’s core collection.
- The completion of the draft text for publication of the Whitwell Cairn excavation, supported by English Heritage.
- The completion of the heritage audio trail for Mansfield Town for Mansfield District Council.