Raising the Barr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In 2012 Walsall Council, in partnership with Barr Beacon Trust, received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project called 'Raising The Barr'. The project saw the restoration of the nature reserve’s heritage features – its landmark war memorial, rare design of flagpole and work on the Joseph Scott tree plantation. The grant was also used to increase the number of activities - to help visitors, schools and colleges make the most of Barr Beacon. This chapter will examine the meeting of technology and heritage in this innovative case study, and consider what lessons can be learned. A key aspect of the project was digital interpretation: a series of films were produced about the project, the site and the various events taking place; a web site and a mobile phone app were also developed and social media platforms were utilized to reach the community. The project team developed high quality media products and the films were aired on local television. Challenges included limited council resources to work on the project and the inflexibility of a long term project to adapt to a changing media landscape. As the project progressed, the media landscaped changed with spreadable media (Jenkins, Ford, Green 2013) becoming a more dominant cultural form. This required a transmedia strategy and the intentional creation of media that could spread virally. Whilst ‘Raising the Barr’ was considered a ‘wholehearted success’ by project evaluators NW Environmental Ltd (2016), lessons learned can be a translated into models of working for new projects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeveloping a Sense of Place
Subtitle of host publicationRole of the Arts in Regenerating Communities
EditorsAlexis Weedon, Tamara Ashley
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherUCL Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-1-78735-782-2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • heritage
  • Heritage interpretation
  • Cultural heritage
  • spreadable media
  • film
  • Walsall


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