Project partners

The National Trust

The National Trust (NT) is an independent UK conservation organisation operating in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Founded in 1895 to care for places of historic interest or natural beauty, today the Trust’s mission is ‘special places for ever, for everyone’. It looks after a portfolio of over 500 places, including historic buildings, art and object collections, gardens, countryside and coastline. The Trust is the largest conservation organisation in Europe, with over four million members. Its properties are visited by over 100 million people annually.

In 2009 a new partnership was created between the Trust and Arts Council England to develop a contemporary arts programme within NT properties called Trust New Art (TNA). Since then over 200 artists have been commissioned to create new works inspired by the places and collections held by NT.

Two NT properties in North East England, Gibside and Cherryburn, acted as host sites for three of the ‘Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience’ research case study commissions. These were presented as part of the Trust New Art programme 2018. In collaboration with the TNA team the research project went on to co-commission a second artwork for Cherryburn in 2019.

The Churches Conservation Trust

The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) is the national charity caring for ‘at risk’ historic churches in England. It looks after a collection of 350 parish churches, encompassing unique examples of architecture, archaeology and art from 1,000 years of church history. All of the CCT buildings have listed status, mostly Grade I and II. Some are Scheduled Ancient Monuments. CCT’s aim is to preserve this heritage and to promote new uses for these historic buildings, e.g. as cultural venues, community and education spaces.

The Churches Conservation Trust’s Holy Trinity Church in Sunderland acted as the host location for the fourth of our research commissions.

English Heritage

English Heritage is an independent charity. It cares for a collection of over 400 historic buildings, monuments and places – from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edge of an empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, it aims to bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year.

As an extension to the main research programme we worked with English Heritage to commission a new artwork for Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens in Northumberland in Summer 2018.


Arts&Heritage is a specialist arts agency set up to initiate and develop contemporary arts projects within the museums and heritage sector. It works with a wide range of artists, museums and heritage organisations to create and present projects and commissions that reveal new narratives about historic sites and their collections. Arts&Heritage is the Arts Council England strategic Sector Support Organisation for this area of practice.

Judith King, Creative Director of Arts & Heritage is a Senior Research Associate on the ‘Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience’ project.

Contemporary Visual Arts Network

The Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) is a national sector-led organisation set up to support the creation of internationally regarded, critically engaged art practice. It represents and supports the diverse visual arts ecology, embracing a broad range of artistic and curatorial practice.

As a key partner in our ‘Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience’ project CVAN works with us to promote and disseminate our research within the visual arts sector.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England (ACE) has had a long standing interest in how contemporary art contributes to the presentation and investigation of England’s built heritage and collective historical narratives. It actively supports artists’ engagement with heritage through its collaboration with the National Trust on the Trust New Art programme and through its working partnerships with The Canals and Rivers Trust, the Forestry Commission and English Heritage.

As a major project partner ACE supports the dissemination of our research nationally within the art, museums and heritage sector.