Discovering Places was the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad’s campaign to inspire the UK to discover their local built, historic and natural environments. The campaign was delivered on behalf of The London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic games by The Heritage Alliance.
The project ended in September 2012 and over 18 months of public engagement an audience of over 150,000 actively engaged in one or more of our projects, a further 100,000 participated online through interactive websites, blogs, downloads and submissions. Over 29 million people heard about our projects and The Heritage Alliance work, through radio campaigns and TV features.
Discovering Places worked in partnership to deliver 3 major UK-wide engagement programmes and in legacy our partners continue to engage the new audiences we reached:
- Walk the World with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
- Meet the Species with theBristol Natural History Consortium
- Culture Cashing with Ground Speak
The Discovering Places team also developed and delivered a pilot project call Discover Explore. This is an interactive website which encourages families and young people to explore their local heritage locations through the creation of bespoke explorer packs. It launched in Great Glen, Scotland and Lee Valley,London. Online membership and rewards further inspire explorers to head off to multiple locations to collect all the online badges and awards. This project in legacy is currently seeking further funding for expansion across the UK.
Discovering Places through partnership working and small grants delivered over 50 bespoke one off events.
In 2005, when London was awarded the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2012, it was acknowledged that the commitment to delivering a UK wide cultural programme as part of the Cultural Olympiad helped win the bid.
At that time, Ian Lush, the Vice Chair of The Heritage Alliance began to lobby and found support from the DCMS and subsequently London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), to ensure that heritage played its part in the Cultural Olympiad.
The Heritage Alliance was awarded a capacity building grant in 2008 from English Heritage to develop a UK-wide engagement project during the Cultural Olympiad period. The Heritage Alliance and LOCOG then worked with key stakeholders in the Heritage, Built and Natural Environment sectors to develop the Discovering Places Campaign.
The innovation of the projects and the use of digital and new technologies helped us successfully to reach new audiences and inspire people to engage with their local and the wider UK environment. Working with over 400 delivery partners to create new ways to deliver events and reach new audiences has left a dynamic legacy of new partnership across the UK.
Our thanks to all our colleagues who have continually supported the project over the last eight years and given their time, expertise and played an active role in making Discovering Places such a success.
For the full report, please click here.