You’ll find Info Points in many churches up and down the country because it meets key objectives for stand-alone community initiatives and/or larger funded projects tied into essential fabric repair and maintenance.
It is likely you will need to source funding to undertake any community engagement projects or large-scale repairs to your place of worship. The National Heritage Lottery Fund (NHLF) is an obvious potential source of funding, having invested around £1 billion pounds in UK places of worship since 1995. However, did you know that the NHLF do not fund projects that are solely for repairs or alterations to historic fabric? They, and many other funders, are looking for applicants to demonstrate that your project also delivers community benefits alongside necessary repair works:
- Exploring the building and bringing it to life through new heritage interpretation
- Exploring, conserving and interpreting the biodiversity of external spaces including graveyards and cemeteries
- Providing better access to heritage by digital means
- Opportunities for people to learn about the art, monuments, graffiti, historic fixtures etc in places of worship
- Discovery, conservation and learning about the creatures that live in the building, such as bats or birds of prey
- Activities to help your group manage heritage more effectively, such as researching existing and new audiences, or trying new approaches to fundraising or income generation.
Info Point enables all of the above. It allows your visitors to connect to a safe and secure private internet containing only your content. Informative church tours, videos, PDF downloads and the ability to lever donations are just some of the benefits of an Info Point. The Info Point doesn’t need to be attached to a wall like traditional exhibition or interpretation panels. Build a digital hub that strengthens the community and enhances tourism by making relevant multimedia and interactive content available that isn’t dependent on mobile signal or a broadband supplier. Embedding the interpretive element of your project from the outset, when you are engaging your church architect, will ensure everything dovetails together. Info-Point is a one-off capital cost with the following features::
- Covid-proof – people use their own mobile devices to connect and engage with Info Point
- Interactive church tours – signpost visitors to your most significant features and artefacts
- No impact on the fabric of the church – simple plug in and place on a shelf (or similar)
- Unobtrusive – no need for panels or video screens but equally you can install a tablet in a secure enclosure that provides general access, if desired
- Stand-alone – no external connectivity e.g. mobile network necessary
- 360º panoramic images with info ‘hotspots’
- Self-managed – content is easily uploaded and updated by anyone with login details
- Universal accessibility – any device with a web browser can connect
- Physical Security – locating Info Point out of sight won’t affect performance
- Cyber security – safe for children and protected against hacking and malicious use
- Low power consumption – the same as one 20w light bulb
- Community Sharing – local groups can be given their own independent area, and access, on an Info Point
- Donations – can be encouraged digitally
- Exclusive to visitors – bonus ‘material’ that www surfers can’t access
Looking for funding?
The National Churches Trust have a useful page detailing current funding streams for you to explore.
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