Gateshead, South Tyneside, and Newcastle Councils had won funding to update their respective local list. Local lists are a compilation of built environment assets, which are recognised and valued locally, and complement other more formal listings, looked after by English Heritage.
Each of the three councils had kept their local lists in very different formats, and most of the local lists had not been updated for many years. Some entries may no longer be relevant, as the listed entry may have been moved, destroyed or was otherwise gone. Similarly, local history groups wanted to include additional sites, which had not been included in the past.
Led by Gateshead Borough Council, Claire Embree-Lalonde was tasked with the daunting task of updating the local list.
What was done
PlaceChangers competent team enabled the councils in three key areas:
- Cleanse and consolidation of the existing lists
- Arrangement of an online call for sites and associated public events in local libraries
- Follow-up analytics
Cleanse and consolidation of the existing lists
An early inventory of the available data, showed that the following situation:
- Overall there are 951 locations across the datasets.
- Newcastle and Gateshead dataset has no descriptions
- Many sites have no title (or use the address as title)
- Some councils had stored their data with site shapes whereas others only used points
- Only the NCL dataset has a typology
- None of the sites have an image
In addition, there was another dataset, referred to as the “HER” list, which was tidy. However, this dataset only includes 700 locations due to omissions and, e.g., grouping of groups of houses.
PlaceChangers team used GIS techniques to consolidate the council-maintained lists with the HER list by location, making use of the more refined typology, names, and descriptions, and consolidating the format of all site data.
Arrangement of an online call for sites and associated public events in local libraries
Using the updated dataset, the council team used the PlaceChangers platform to generate an online call for sites.
The call for sites enabled participants the following:
- A presentation of all existing sites and available information
- An opportunity to feedback if the site is still existing or not
- An ability to nominate new sites by adding a title, name, and image for council review.
Facilitated by PlaceChangers and our partners, PlaceChangers worked with Dan Massey and Gateshead Council to arrange a series of six public meetings in local libraries. Those public meetings featured an interactive map, and physical print out maps to enable discussions, and nominations to be captured in public meetings.
The meetings were advertised on the website of each council as well as their social media accounts. The consultation drew engagement from local history groups.
Follow-up analytics support
Once the project closed, PlaceChangers provided additional analysis support by compiling a number of manual submissions and adding them to the online call for sites.
At the end of the project, all newly nominated sites were copied over to a new mapping on PlaceChangers, so that the three councils have a single ground truth where they can continue to evaluate sites that were submitted.
The PlaceChangers platform and associated service enabled the client to quickly deploy a call that helped to update three disjointed local lists based on a more authoritative dataset as well as input from a wide range of local history groups.
In total, the consultation was visited 301 times. Participants nominated 149 new sites as part of the call for sites. A further 52 locations received comments with further updates for the respective site.
The three councils were able to update their existing local lists much faster through input of local history campions.
If you run a call for sites, you should consider PlaceChangers. The platform has been essential in helping us pull together site nominations and update the existing lists. It would be a first point of contact for future Local List consultations.