A Brave Community Response
a Shared Heritage of Place
in an Age of Austerity?
Fortune Favours the Brave – MGS Biennial Conference
Thursday 12 September 2013
Hampden Park, Glasgow
Alistair Bowden, Project Co-ordinator
1. What is an Ecomuseum?
2. Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum – Brief History
4. So what is the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum model
...is it brave?
...and can it be replicated?
1. What is an Ecomuseum?
•Easdale Island Folk Museum
•Kilmartin House Museum
2. A brief history
•Five members of the local community met in August 2008
•What to do to mark the 500th anniversary?
•How to create a lasting legacy?
•They wanted to find out what other local people were
•First stakeholders emerge (30ish)
•Stakeholders increase (80ish)
•Ecomuseum first mentioned
•Grant funding from Leader
•Phase 1 of the Ecomuseum development (£30k)
•Preparation of the HLF grant applications
•Heritage Lottery Fund
•First Round application (£85,000)
•Second Round application (£1.3m)
•£877,000 cash; £450,000 volunteer time
Learning more about
the battle, its context
Increase no. of sites
Small no. of activities
•Building a broad profile for Flodden
•Giving support to community
groups in doing their own PR
•Encouraging tourism businesses to
grasp the opportunity
Led by the community
•Chaired by Lord Joicey
•Strong community representatives on the
•Strong and vocal Stakeholder Group
•Regular Stakeholder meetings
•Key influence / decision making:
•HLF Rounds One and Two
•Nominating and selecting sites for inclusion
Process, not product
•All Ecomuseum project delivery is about
supporting the stakeholders to work
together to everyone’s net benefit
Involve local businesses
Rose and Thistle Ice
Depend on volunteers
•Everything depends on volunteers
Sense of place
•Arguably the Borders’ most historically
•Scale and impact of the losses
•Central place in local culture:
•Flowers of the Forest/Marmion
Continuity and change
•Battle of Flodden 1513
•Impact on the culture of the Borders and beyond
•Potential for community and economic
•Exemplified by the 3 year education
Movable and immovable tangible
Research: local and academic
•Academic heritage studies
•Academic organisation studies
Research: multi and inter-disciplinary
•Community is interdisciplinary:
•what more can we learn about Flodden and
•Academic is interdisciplinary:
•what is the nature of the Ecomuseum?
Sustainable Environmental Dev.
•Wise use of resources
•Allow for development
•(except on the battlefield)
•Document past and present culture
•Mainly about raising the profile of the past
•Also about 500th commemorations and the
huge community-led programme of events
Sustainable Economic Development
Sustainable Community Development
•Establishing cross-border links amongst
groups and communities
•where a border has on the one hand very little
meaning (“we’re all Borderers”)
•yet on the other hand significant meaning as a legal
and administrative line (2014 Scottish Referendum
4. The Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum model
...is it brave?
...can it be replicated?
Mapped against National Strategy for
Scotland’s Museums and Galleries
1b. Inspire and deliver new forms of audience engagement through research, interpretation and
effective use of digital and emerging technologies.
2a. Increase the impact of museums and galleries on Scotland’s learning culture by providing a
wider range of experiences for enjoyment, development and learning.
2b. Increase cultural participation, maximising the number and range of people who see
collections and visit and enjoy museums.
2c. Deepen the connections between museums and communities, sharing
knowledge and promoting well-being and understanding.
3a. Attract and nurture talent, share and develop the skills and competencies of all parts of the
workforce including volunteers, and plan more effectively for succession.
4b. Increase the financial sustainability of sector organisations [and the wider economy] by
exploiting a wider range of income sources and new ways of working.
5b. Develop collaborative approaches to achieve shared ambition, increase impact and enable
an agile and adaptable sector to aim higher.
Flodden model (1)
•Leader: strong, independent, capable, respected
•Steering group: strength & diversity
•Public service organisations have ALWAYS taken a
support role, NEVER a leading / directing role
•Careful deliberate progress, keeping ALL
stakeholders engaged, participating and contributing
•Three funding bids, each progressively larger and
more ambitious: £30k, £80k, £1.3m
Flodden model (2)
•Outcomes have evolved, but built progressively:
•Mark the 500th anniversary
•Listen to, actively respond to, support and
encourage local community to appreciate and benefit
•Learn more about and give increased access to the
tangible and intangible heritage
•Encourage businesses to contribute to and take
advantage of the opportunity
Flodden model (3)
Is it brave?
•If we define brave as “high risk and high reward”, then
the answer has to be YES
•Many similar projects have crashed and burned
•Many more are not robust, nor sustainable in the
•Traditional museums, leading limited community
engagement is “lower risk and lower reward”:
•BUT more expensive, lower impact and
Is it replicable?
•The ecomuseum framework is flexible
•It gives enough structure to provide stimulation
•But not so much as to restrict innovation
•Depending on what sort of ecomuseum is
desired, the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum may
provide a model