Transforming public understanding and engagement, improving staff and volunteer practice, and increasing revenue in the National Trust’s north of England region

Impact: Awareness and understanding, Economic, Society and culture


A major ESRC-funded collaboration between Barker and the National Trust at Quarry Bank in Cheshire led to several operational benefits for the Trust and improved visitor engagement and experience. Barker directed a large-scale historical interpretation project that brought to life the experience of residents and workers during the estate’s industrial heyday. Benefits of this collaboration included: visitor numbers rose by 53% between 2015 and 2020; income increased by GBP680,100 between 2015 and 2020; and significant practice change by over 250 staff and volunteers. It led directly to a follow-on AHRC Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project that delivered these benefits more widely in the Trust. The pilot stage for the KTP between 2018 and 2019 was explicitly linked by the Trust to an increase in annual sales turnover of just over GBP20,000,000 in the North region.
Impact date20152020
Category of impactAwareness and understanding, Economic, Society and culture