“The Friends of Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings received a Museum Development North West grant to fund an audience development project for the Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings Museum (LJLM).  LJLM had been closed by Lancashire County Council (LCC) for over a year and the Friends were campaigning to reopen the building and the collections it houses. 

It was important for the Friends to be able to show LCC that there was an enthusiasm locally for the museum to reopen, and that local people had many ideas as to how the JL might remodel itself to be more participatory. “

Friends of Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings

We designed the consultation working closely with the Friends and their volunteers – from developing a framework, to designing pop-up installations, to volunteer training, to engaging the public, to reporting on what people wanted from a revitalised LJLM.

Key outcomes:

  • engaged over 400 people engaged at consultation events
  • doubled Friends of LJLM mailing list
  • 4 days of pop-up events across 3 public venues in Lancaster
  • design and production of re-usable pop-up installation
  • facilitation training for 13 volunteers who supported with consultation activities
  • collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data
  • photographic documentation of the process
  • led on social media around the consultation
  • production of report presented to LCC

It was equally important to design a process that invited honest reflections and afforded individual responses. Our report highlighted why some people hadn’t visited, what kinds of experiences and displays people wanted and opportunities to develop underrepresented audiences:

“Their resulting report has been very influential in persuading the Lancashire County Council that the museum has an important future in the story of Lancaster’s heritage.  It has been much used over the past twelve months and is still referred to as the planning for the reopening of the Judges’ Lodgings takes shape.”

Friends of Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings

Our work supported the Friends’ ongoing negotiations to secure a future for LJLM. We are delighted to report that the Museum has now re-opened!