Building on the success of its 30th anniversary year in 2013, the organisation acknowledges the challenges that lie ahead and is looking forward to delivering even more over the coming 12 months, with bold exhibitions, a varied programme of events and investment in core services
Exhibitions this year will include a landmark display at the Jersey Museum and Art Gallery explaining Jersey’s pre-Roman history and what happened during the Roman era. At the heart of the exhibition, called Treasure: Uncovering Celts and Romans sponsored by Lloyds Bank, will be Jersey’s world-renowned Iron Age coin hoard, discovered by Reg Mead and Richard Miles in 2012. The exhibition will bring together for the first time other discoveries from the Roman era including a chariot from Normandy and parts of Guernsey’s Roman galley, which have never been on public display before. The centerpiece of the exhibition will be a ‘living laboratory’: this glass cube will enable visitors to see experts working on the conservation and deconstruction of the famous coin hoard.
At La Hougue Bie the Island’s Ice Age story will be explored through a new archaeological gallery in an exhibition entitled Ice Age Island, sponsored by Capco Trust. This all new, highly interpretive display, will map out the significant part Jersey has to play in our understanding of the earliest settlers in Europe.
From August to December visitors will be able to learn more about Jersey’s part in the Great War with an exhibition that marks the centenary of the opening of hostilities in 1914. Jersey and the Great War: 12 Voices has been sponsored by Credit Suisse.
For younger islanders Jersey Heritage will be producing a number of events in association with Mourant Ozannes as part of the Discovery Day series. These include ‘Medieval battles’ at Mont Orgueil; ‘What’s Cooking?’ at Hamptonne and ‘Mermaids and Monsters’ at the Jersey Maritime Museum. As well as family events there are sleepovers and workshops, enabling participants to fully engage with their heritage.
Jersey Heritage continues to build new audiences and a number of popular social and cultural events will take place again in 2014, including La Faîs’sie d’Cidre at Hamptonne in October sponsored by Jersey Tourism, the Muse film club and the monthly What’s Your Street’s Story, sponsored by Appleby, at the Jersey Archive. In addition Jersey Heritage will continue to support local artistic talent with a series of free exhibitions sponsored by Rathbones in the Link Gallery at Jersey Museum & Art Gallery.
During 2014 Jersey Heritage will continue to work closely with its heritage partners, the National Trust for Jersey and the Société Jersiaise on a number of projects, and is building relationships with other organisations, such as the Jersey Arts Centre, to help bring Jersey’s 250,000 year story to life.
As well as events and exhibitions, Jersey Heritage continues to build new revenue streams and during 2013 has invested in catering facilities at its sites, for example at Elizabeth Castle, and added more heritage let accommodation to its portfolio, including apartments at Hamptonne. Work is continuing at La Rocco Tower in St Ouen’s Bay, which is due to open for staying visitors during 2014.
Jersey Heritage is entering the final year of a three year service level agreement with the States of Jersey and has achieved, and in most cases exceeded, its obligations: self-generated income is now approaching parity with public funding, all national accreditation standards have been achieved, and despite seasonally-restricted opening times there is a greater level of public engagement with a 13% rise in footfall since the beginning of the SLA period.
Jon Carter, Director of Jersey Heritage said, “In 30 years we have come a long way from an organisation running a single museum: we now look after a number of significant heritage assets, maintain the Island’s official document archive, contribute to economic prosperity through our trading operations and help to sustain our historic natural environment. We know that to maintain momentum, we have to invest in our product and service, and we will be doing that in 2014 and beyond to ensure that we are delivering value for public money and innovative experiences that will continue to engage and enthrall our audience. We are looking to the future and we believe we can play an increasingly important role in Jersey’s economic, social, cultural and environmental reputation.”
The 2014 Jersey Heritage season starts on 2nd April