Enthusiastic support for local museums and heritage

A consultation with residents has resulted in an informative report, outlining a vision for a new museum and art gallery for Huddersfield. 

What does the report include? 

The public engagement report provides a wide range of views on heritage as well as enthusiastic support from the public for a new museum and gallery.

The project, carried out by the Museums and Galleries Team, was produced as part of the National Lottery Heritage funded Bringing out the Best – a strategic programme focusing on long term measures to strengthen and support heritage locally. This includes museum sites and collections managed by us, as well as broader heritage activity.


How many people took part in the consultation? 

The survey received over 700 responses. In addition to feedback from one-to-one interviews with targeted charity leaders, representatives of organisations and focus groups with underrepresented audiences.

The survey and interviews and focus groups were carried out online due to challenges with Covid-19 restrictions. This level of engagement enabled more people to give their views, with valuable feedback gained from those who never or rarely visited museum sites.

What are the findings? 

People are keen to be involved in the development of heritage across Kirklees from the offset and wish to share their stories with us.

87% of survey respondents were very interested or interested in visiting a new museum and gallery in the centre of Huddersfield in the future with all one-to-one interviewees, and the vast majority of focus group participants, eager to see this developed further.


Overall the most popular theme for displays and exhibitions were textile Heritage and Innovation and Local Lives.


Popular words to describe an ethos for a new museum and gallery were welcoming, accessible, community, relevant and inclusive, reflecting the need for the museum to provide contemporary stories and ensure future relevance and inspiration for all communities.

What does this mean for Heritage in Kirklees?

Results from the public engagement will also inform the ongoing development of a heritage strategy for Kirklees.

This strategy includes ambitions set out by the Museums and Galleries Service, to continue to develop its relationship with and reflect our diverse communities.

It seeks to work more with communities and volunteers to care for collections and buildings, encouraging community curatorship and broad partnerships.
It aims to share resources with partners locally, regionally and nationally, communicating appropriately with 21st-century audiences.


Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees said; 

“This feedback shows how important culture and heritage is to our communities, and supports our efforts to put it at the heart of our recovery from Covid-19 and our plans for the regeneration of our borough.


This engagement will help to inform the development of the draft heritage strategy for Kirklees, plans for the Cultural Heart, the Huddersfield Blueprint, masterplans for existing museum and gallery sites and long term strategic planning. 


We’d like to say a huge thank you to all participants, who gave their time to fill out the survey and talk to us in detail through focus groups and one to one sessions. The ideas, enthusiasm, commitment and the desire to work with us in the future is very exciting.” 

Will there be a report for North Kirklees? 

A second report exploring heritage in North Kirklees. It will cover Bagshaw Museum and Oakwell Hall Country Park will be published in early 2022.

We will now 
carefully consider the findings of this report and the upcoming report for the North Kirklees when planning the future for heritage in Kirklees. Further engagement opportunities are planned in the coming years as plans for the new museum move forward.

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