Context 156 - September 2018

28 C O N T E X T 1 5 6 : S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 What is the heritage importance of a project; what are the benefits created to people; and what are the benefits to the communities? Only by addressing people and communities can heritage be protected.This was consistent with the reality that buildings and heritage were fundamentally about people – invariably why they were cre- ated – as places for human interaction, stories and lives to unfold. ‘By bringing out the value of heritage to society we have given ourselves new tools to help us be able to make the case for heritage funding.’ Mullan said that the heritage importance of a building was but one element of a project. As important was the story of that building, its place in the heritage of street, town and country. Even then this heritage importance was not enough. ‘A project has to show its benefit to people and communities, so good projects have skills, learning and other people benefits built into them, and can show that communities are actively engaged throughout the project’s development and beyond.’ Of key importance when making bids was to show that people actually wanted it, not that ‘we think people will be interested in it’. If that was the belief, it needed to be proven.Well-conceived HLF projects, underpinned by sustainable busi- ness plans, protected the past for the future. Mullan highlighted effective HLF projects, ranging from a Sandy Row loyalist band which became transformed, as tour guides, into advo- cates for the whole of Belfast, to the success of the Titanic project in bringing the stories of Belfast’s maritime history to life. The Tropical Ravine, a late-19th-century Eden Project revived in 2014 by Belfast City Council and the HLF, tells the story of Northern Ireland’s international links, particularly with Asia. Heconcludedwithanemphasisontheexperience in Northern Ireland of projects underpinned by multiple stories and the challenges those stories presented. He urged the audience to see our built heritage in the context of people, partnership, community and the exploration of memory. Roger Higgins International negotiation strategies: cultural heritage without borders Speaker: Elena Mamani, vice director and programme manager, Cultural Heritage without Borders Introduced by Andrew Shepherd, IHBC education secretary Elena Mamani’s talk focused on the work of Cultural Heritage without Borders in the Balkans region, specifically in Albania, and the use of heritage to regenerate communi- ties, and to preserve knowledge and identity. Andrew Shepherd’s introduction described the organisation’s background and his experiences in the Balkans. Cultural Heritage without Borders was founded in Sweden by people who felt that they could not ignore the neglect of cultural heritage, even outside their own country.The organisation operates primarily in the former Yugoslavia, a The Tropical Ravine, brought back to life with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund