Bridging the Gap

Young woman sitting in a museum store with purple and white cape on desk in front.

Bridging the Gap was an ambitious project that set out to embed a strategic, collaborative approach towards learning and engagement across Wessex Museums. Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council, the work was led over a two-and-a-half-year period by the Wessex Engagement Lead.

The project was defined by four key programmes:

  • Creating systemic change
  • Building confidence and skills
  • Future proofing
  • Diverse representation

A central thread of inclusion and empowerment ran through all the work programmes. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) training, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions and the co-creation of a new Evaluation Framework gave museum colleagues the skills and confidence to engage effectively and empathetically with underserved audiences.

Our museums have evolved into spaces that now work equitably with communities. There has been a critical shift in position of museum staff who now understand the needs and interests of underserved audiences and how collections and objects can reflect this.

Our cultural transformation work doesn’t end with the closing of this project. Based on recommendations made in the Final Report, Wessex Museums will continue to provide strong leadership and guidance on inclusive and impactful engagement programming. 

Sawfish are also called carpenter sharks...but they are rays, not sharks!

There’s also a species called a sawshark, but that’s, well, a shark!

What the heck is a lek?

Males great bustards perform spectacular courtship displays, gathering at a ‘lek’ or small display ground to try to impress the females.

Road Runner!

The great bustard has a dignified slow walk but tends to run when disturbed, rather than fly.

Belly Buster!

The hen-bird on display at The Salisbury Museum was one of the last great bustards to be eaten in the town!

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