A Heritage Council Project, in partnership with Birdwatch Ireland, Bat Conservation Ireland & the National Council for the Blind of Ireland.
In April this year the Heritage Council launched a survey into the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the heritage sector in Ireland.
Like other sectors of society, the heritage sector has faced closures, job losses, delays and increased home working as a result of the covid-19 restrictions. Some heritage sites have seen increased pressure from visitor numbers and many organisations have been busy developing new online content for those engaged in home schooling or cocooned.
The purpose of this survey was to help us to understand the impact that the covid-19 crisis has on the heritage sector in Ireland so as to advise the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The findings were presented to the Minister of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Summary of Survey Results
510 survey workers in the heritage sector, including individuals, bodies and agencies, responded to the online survey, which closed on 6th May.
Two-thirds (66%) of heritage sector workers suffered loss or postponement of work due to COVID-19,
The survey found that, due to COVID-19:
• 52% of respondents had experienced temporary closure.
• 51% experienced postponement or cancellation of events.
• 46% experienced a lack of revenue streams.
• 20% experienced staff well-being issues.
• 17% believe their business / organisation would be unlikely to survive the next 12 months without major intervention.
• 75% of heritage organisations did not have a recovery plan in place.
"Projects have been put on hold because of closures"
"Since the shutdown, we have not been able to do fieldwork and consequently have no income, cash -flow."
"Temporary lay offs due to Covid 19 drop in revenue"
‘The Museum is closed and staff have been temporarily laid off (including me!)’
Some positive aspects emerging
Almost three-quarters (68%) of heritage sector workers believe that there will be a renewed appreciation for heritage following the lifting of COVID-19-related restrictions and 62% of respondents had created online content related to heritage during the pandemic.
When asked how the Government could support the heritage sector during the COVID-19 crisis, 80% of respondents cited flexibility around existing offers to grantees; 79% said assistance in honouring existing commitments; 72% said new funding streams; and 62% said promoting the value of heritage.
"Initial supports need to be fully funded grants - heritage organisations will not have matching funding capabilities until late 2021".
"I think that we need to demonstrate our worth. We need to impress upon our public leaders the value of our contribution to society; communities have been central to addressing this crisis, we will be crucial to addressing the aftermath as well."
"Connect the dots between environmental protection and heritage and tourism and wellbeing. Its all connected".
A pilot initiative for maintaining heritage integrity and improving the quality of our historic towns and villages for residents and tourists.
An initiative from the Heritage Council and National Museum of Ireland which invites you to share your discoveries and insights about the hidden heritage of your locality.