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Latest news from Costain Heritage:

Bethlem hospital
Bethlem Hospital - Museum of the Mind - Activity Plan completed
November 2011

Costain Heritage was appointed in July to develop an Activity Plan for the Bethlem Art and History Collections Trust Museum of the Mind project. This Activity Plan has now  been completed in preparation for their submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund, anticipated for summer 2012. 

This innovative project will build on the relocation of the museum to new facilities within the Bethlem Royal Hospital site, providing a significantly increased size of exhibition space, enhanced exhibitions and greater access to all.  Our work included a considerable community consultation exercise, including consultation with mental health users, mental health services management and curators of other psychiatric hospital museums.

Costain Heritage worked with Sarah Clarke Heritage and Annabel Elliott on this project.

Dreamland in
                its heyday Dreamland awarded £3m HLF grant
November 2011

Dreamland's Stage Two HLF bid has also been successful. The organisation has received confirmation of funding of £3m. 

This exciting project will make a considerable difference to the economy and people of Margate. Costain Heritage was appointed to develop an Activity Plan for Dreamland, in association with Britton McGrath and Sarah Clarke Heritage. This formed part oft he HLF grant application.

Up until its closure in 2006, Dreamland was an iconic theme park, providing entertainment to generations of holidaymakers on the Kent coast.  Originally opened in 1919, this heritage site originally housed an American style amusement park, cinema, ballroom and animal cages.

The Dreamland Trust plans to revive the site, through the creation of a historic theme park. This will be a thrilling, living tourist attraction; incorporating the restoration of original rides from the site, together with the introduction of ‘new’ historic rides from elsewhere in the UK and Europe. 

In its hey-day, Dreamland was a key contributor to Margate’s economy.  Two of Margate’s wards are the most deprived wards in the South East of England.  Key to the project therefore is the potential to transform the local economy and therefore the lives of those communities living within the town.

More info at:

The Black Gate HLF grant awarded to Old Newcastle Project, Newcastle upon Tyne
October 2011

Costain Heritage is pleased to announce that the Old Newcastle Project, has been awarded £1.4million by the HLF. Costain Heritage was responsible for the preparation of the Activity Plan for the Old Newcastle project.

This project is a joint project between the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, the Society of Antiquities (Newcastle) and Newcastle City Council. The project joins three buildings, currently managed separately: the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, the Castle Keep and the Black Gate. The project proposes redevelopment of each, enabling joint working practices and the sharing of facilities.

Boats at Port St Mary
Work completed on Isle of Man South West Regeneration concept proposals
March 2011
Costain Heritage is pleased to announce that work has now been completed on the Development of concept proposals for Port Erin and Port St Mary, prior to a bid to the Town and Village Regeneration Fund.

Our final consultation report for the project can be read here

Section of the Antonine Wall
Costain Heritage appointed to work on Antonine Wall
February 2011
Costain Heritage is delighted to have been commissioned by Historic Scotland to develop audience development proposals for the Antonine Wall. 

This work will be undertaken in association with Erich Kadow Interpretation and Design in the preparation of an Interpretation Plan and Access Strategy for the monument.

August 2009
Costain Heritage is very pleased to announce that it has been asked to assist the Council of Europe on its work on the Integrated Rehabilitation Project Plan / Survey of the architectural and archaeological heritage - Ljubljana Process.

The Council of Europe is overseeing work by all 9 of the Balkans countries in order to assist them in developing a number of key heritage sites.  The project covers 26 heritage sites in all, and Costain Heritage is advising the representatives from the countries on how to write their business plans, work which will be essential for obtaining funding.

Costain Heritage is working in partnership with Britton McGrath on this project.

Fritha Costain said: "We are very proud to be involved in this project. It's an extremely interesting project, but in addition the work we are doing will assist in the re-development of a number of countries affected by conflict. Our work will be an important factor in helping rebuild the countries".

Fritha Costain at the Maughold Crosses Imperial War Museum win
February 2009
Costain Heritage is pleased to announce that it has been chosen to undertake master planning work for the Imperial War Museum.

The work will involve a significant strategic review of the museum, in particular dealing with the public offer, collections storage, building requirement and staff location.

"The Imperial War Museum is one of the key players in the museum world" said Fritha Costain "and we are very excited to be working with them".

Costain Heritage will be leading the work, working in partnership with BDP architects and together with Britton McGrath, David Dixon Associates, Hilary McGowan and CBRE.

An interpretation signage review for the Isle of Man
23 October 2008
Costain Heritage has been appointed to undertake a review of the interpretation signage on the Isle of Man.

The work, commissioned by the Manx Heritage Foundation, will incorporate a review of sites of interest, in terms of wildlife and/or heritage, which do not currently have interpretation signage (excluding sites owned by Manx National Heritage).  The work will also include advising on the construction of the signs, the cost and possible funding streams.

"The Isle of Man is an incredible place" said Fritha Costain "but there are a number of sites of interest on the Island which do not have interpretation signage.  Interprepretation signage is very important as it provides information to visitors to the Island, but also to local residents and also serves to engender a sense of pride in our local community.  As such we are particularly excited about our involvement in the project."

Consultation is being undertaken with a number of key stakeholders as part of the project, including the Commissioners, DAFF and DTL, and the hope is that the work will result in a report which a number of key organisations can sign up to.

King's Lynn project completed
26 July 2008
The King's Lynn project encompassed a review of four of King’s Lynn’s heritage buildings to advise how the buildings could best be developed to increase access, be more socially inclusive, and increase economic viability.

The study work concluded that the uses of the Customs House and Green Quay should continue, but with enhancements to the infrastructure. It established that the town hall complex should be substantially altered with a large museum introduced on the ground floor and wedding/conference venue provided on the first. It also found that the arts centre complex, although continuing as a performance, gallery and education space, should concentrate on providing activities in the courtyard and should develop a new studio theatre.

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council were very pleased with the results of the work, and are now in the process of obtaining formal Council approval for the proposals.

Other companies working with the Council also have access to the review. One recently commented that they, 'found your Review invaluable both in terms of the hard data you've collected together and also your very perceptive analysis of King's Lynn and its challenges.'

You can view the executive summary of the report on the King's Lynn and West Norfolk Council's website - Click here

Costain Heritage open for business
15th May 2008
Costain Heritage has opened for business and is now working across Britain and Ireland. The company is headed by Fritha Costain who was the principal consultant for York-based heritage provider, Continuum.

Costain Heritage provides options appraisals, audience development plans, feasibility studies, business and activity plans, conservation area appraisals, and can prepare grant applications for the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Fritha Costain said, 'At Costain Heritage we specialise in working with the heritage and museum sector, but also undertake related projects for non-heritage organisations too, for example, options appraisals for heritage buildings. We are currently undertaking our first project which involves a major appraisal of all King's Lynn Borough Council's heritage buildings.'

Fritha Costain led the heritage consultancy department of Continuum for three years. Her clients at Continuum included the Roman Baths at Bath, Stockport Plaza, Auckland Castle Park, Wells Cathedral, Stowe Gardens, the Dean Heritage Museum, the Tivoli Theatre, and the preparation of a business plan for the transfer of Luton Council's cultural services.

Costain Heritage is based on the Isle of Man at the centre of the Britiain and Ireland. Fritha said, 'The island is the perfect place for a heritage consultancy - practically every square inch has been carved by the Celts and Vikings - it's a real inspiration. Not only that but the island is just a short hop away and is served by exceptional air and ferry routes meaning it's faster to travel to and from the island than between many areas of the UK.'

Prior to her work with Continuum Fritha qualified as an accountant and worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers for seven years. She read archaeology at the University of Wales and subsequently went on to complete an MA in archaeological survey at Durham University. Fritha has in-depth knowledge of the heritage sector, and extensive experience in financial consultancy. 'Costain Heritage prides itself in providing both an expert and personal service,' she said.

For a high resolution photograph of Fritha Costain - Click here

For a high resolution copy of our logo - Click here

Costain Heritage Consulting