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Rowan Associates - See the wood for the trees


Rowan Associates works with organisations and partnerships to develop, review and evaluate heritage projects.

We are specialists in qualitative evaluation and demonstrating HLF outcomes.  We believe that local heritage can be a powerful catalyst for community engagement and place making.

Rowan Associates’ heritage work builds on my track record of working with community groups in a range of sectors.


I bring an understanding of evaluating less tangible benefits such as wellbeing and social capital to heritage evaluations.

South Gloucestershire in the First World War project 2014 – 2018  http://www.southglos.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/museums-and-galleries/ww1-museums-and-galleries/south-gloucestershire-and-the-first-world-war-2/

Know Your Place West of England http://www.kypwest.org.uk/

Ashton Gatehouse

Engaging people and communities

 As a skilled facilitator, I have experience of the challenges of engaging the variety of stakeholders to inform your project, or gather evidence of your outcomes achieved.

Freedom Youth Oral History:
Freedom Youth, Bristol’s LGBT Youth Group, celebrated 21 years of continuous operation in 2016.  I worked with members of Freedom Youth to secure HLF Young Roots funding for an oral history project to mark this milestone.  The major output of the project is a book, co-written with Rosa Fanti, which built on 26 interviews and several group sessions with members of Freedom Youth.

Get the book

Jacob’s Wells Baths and the Community around it
We have delighted to work with Local Learning to co-deliver a Heritage Lottery Funded community project exploring the fascinating history of Jacob’s Wells Baths.  The project has explored the history of the Jacob’s Wells area, of the Jacob’s Well itself and of the impact of clean water in the area.  This includes the development of the  Victorian baths which were built at a time when very few people were fortunate enough to have running water in their households, a time when locals didn’t appreciate the risks they were taking swimming in the dirty docks, a time when the whole family would have to take turns washing in a tin bath, in ever murkier water.

The stories of people who bathed or swam in the baths are told by people whose experiences continued into the 20th century within living memory.  Hear them at http://www.locallearning.org.uk/washing-in-the-well/

Further information will be added to the web pages in September.

Heritage Partnerships  

There is an increasing emphasis on partnerships and multi agency working, in heritage as in other public facing provision.  I understand the language of other sectors and can bring them together to benefit the development and delivery of heritage projects.

Place making  

Heritage helps to build a sense of place.

The Skye Shilasdair Shop  I worked with Shilasdair staff to create the motif for their exhibition which displays the skills of natural dyeing – dyes created using natural indgredients such as local plants to reflect the colours of the landscape.  The exhibition enabled Shilasdair to maintain it’s high ranking with Visit Scotland as well as consistently high ratings on TripAdvisor

“A wonderful place to stop and browse on the Waternish.”

“Fascinating look into the wool-harvesting and hand-dying (with NATURAL plant-based dyes) of yarns!”

I have been instrumental in place-shaping in Bristol, through my involvement with

  • Carriageworks Action Group
  • Westmorland House Oral History Project
  • Bearpit Heritage Project Advisory Group
  • Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust
  • Bristol Civic Society Blue Plaque Panel Member

Contact me to discuss how we can work with you to achieve your aims.