Ironbridge appoints Industrial Heritage Support Officer

21st August 2012

Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust has been awarded funding by English Heritage to host a new post aimed at supporting England’s preserved industrial sites and making them accessible for future generations.

The post-holder will develop a national strategy to improve the sustainability and conservation standards of industrial sites preserved with public access and identified as needing support following a seminal report produced by Sir Neil Cossons, previously Chairman of English Heritage and current President of the Association of Independent Museums.

The project will be delivered in partnership with several key organisations including the Ironbridge Institute and the University of Birmingham, the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) and the Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA).  The project will also work with a special network of industrial sites across Europe – the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH). 

Recruitment of the successful post-holder has now taken place and the Trust will welcome Ian Bapty, currently Senior Project Archaeologist at Herefordshire Council, to his new role in September 2012.  Ian will be supported by the staff of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums and a Steering Group which will be made up of experts from across the heritage sector including English Heritage, AIM and AIA.

Dr Matt Thompson, Senior Curator at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust said: “We are delighted to welcome Ian to the team and we are sure that his experience and skills will allow us to support many industrial heritage sites across England to develop their volunteer base, access grant funding streams and develop new skills”. 

English Heritage Officer Shane Gould said of the project: “English Heritage has identified a real need nationally in terms of the long-term future of these important historical sites.  We are confident that this project will have a hugely beneficial effect in ensuring that these monuments and buildings are secured for the future”. 

Matthew Tanner, Chairman of the Association of Independent Museums, said: “AIM is delighted to be supporting this important project and we hope that AIM’s expertise, networks and resources can add significantly to the funding provided by English Heritage and that, as a partnership, we can make a real difference.  We look forward to working closely with Ian”.

For information about the Ironbridge Gorge Museums visit www.ironbridge.org.uk or for details about the Association of Independent Museums visit www.aim-museums.co.uk.