About Heritage Compass

Heritage Compass Symposium 2023

In 2020, Cause4 launched Heritage Compass – a brand new Business Support Programme that was developed in response to the urgent challenges facing the heritage sector in England.

With support and funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and in partnership with Creative United and the Arts Marketing Association, we continued to develop and adapt Heritage Compass, to strengthen the heritage sector’s resilience, building participants’ capability, knowledge and confidence.

Across a four-year period, the programme provided support to more than 400 organisations, developing essential skills in business planning, audience development, leadership and change management, with the aim of creating a better connected, informed and resilient heritage landscape across England.

The result has been profound, and we have supported organisations to:

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

Develop effective business plans
Supporting organisations to construct business plans, often for the first time, which play an essential role in the organisation’s continued development and success.

Improve financial resilience
Both through funding opportunities and expert training on finances and fundraising, Heritage Compass has equipped participants with the skills and resources needed to thrive in challenging economic times.

“Thanks to all at Heritage Compass, it’s been so supportive and quite transformational for our tiny organisation.”

Jackie Hunt, Programme participant
Court Barn
Court Barn – photo by Alec Miller

Develop or re-invigorate income generation strategies
The combination of our expert mentors, training, and energetic networks, has given participants invaluable advice for reimagining income generation and growing their organisation.

Improve audience development plans
Amidst the cost-of-living crisis, sustaining and expanding audiences has been challenging. Heritage Compass has been vital in supporting participants to reach out to new groups and to cultivate and reengage committed core supporters.

“It was wonderful to spend the afternoon networking at today’s Heritage Compass event at Cambridge Junction. It’s such a brilliant programme, and it was lovely to take the time to talk about resilience.”

Maddie Cox, Business Manager, Museum of Cambridge
Visitors view dyed yarns in Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft's Dye Garden
Visitors view dyed yarns in Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft’s Dye Garden

Create networks of support and collaboration that will persist beyond the end of the programme
Providing Networks funding to ensure the programme’s impact extends into the future. These networks are an enduring legacy of the importance of Heritage Compass and the resilience of the heritage sector.

Develop new partnerships on a national scale
The delivery of three national symposiums has been pivotal in creating collaboration, peer connection and shared knowledge, with more than 400 individuals coming together from across England.

Explore Heritage Compass

Heugh Battery Museum

From 2020-2024, more than 400 heritage organisations from across England took part in the Heritage Compass programme.

The Liliesleaf Trust UK

Explore a range of articles and publications including the Strategies for Sustainability report series.

A visitor looks at exhibitions at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft
A visitor looks at exhibitions at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

Benchmarking is a helpful tool to help improve standards, or to support decision-making.

Footprints Theatre Company
Case studies

Explore the case studies written by Kate Rodenhurst and Tamsin Cox at DHA as part of the Heritage Compass evaluation.