Valence House to offer video tours and interactive exhibitions as part of online project

Valence House in Dagenham has received Arts Council funding to develop a new digital project. Pictur

Valence House in Dagenham has received Arts Council funding to develop a new digital project. Picture: Barking and Dagenham Council. - Credit: Archant

Valence House is developing a new digital offering – including video tours, short films and interactive exhibitions – to build on its work online during lockdown.

The heritage museum site in Dagenham has been awarded a £27,489 grant from the Arts Council for the “Valence House: A new digital dimension” web project, which will be assisted by a professional film maker, photographer and website provider.

Hosted on the Valence House website, it will offer resources including a video tour of the museum and grounds, a guide to using archives and local studies information, and behind the scenes tours in the museum stores.

The council says online work by the heritage service during lockdown has been very successful in terms of reach and engagement.

The service wants to use this project to consolidate those efforts and maintain the momentum online post-lockdown.

The project will help them engage with people whilst social distancing measures are still in place, but it is also part of a longer-term vision to develop their relationship with the public.

Deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for community leadership and engagement, Cllr Saima Ashraf, said: “In these difficult times, everyone has had to adapt to the new measures put in place, especially for places like Valence House, which relies on people visiting the museum.

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“This funding from the Arts Council England’s Covid-19 emergency response fund is a great opportunity to create a space online for people to experience this wonderful heritage site, from wherever they are in the world.”

In future, the Valence House team hopes their new online audience will translate into physical visitors.

Key aspects of the project include allowing potential visitors who have a disability or anxiety issues to see the whole site and what is on offer online first, so they can be confident in planning a physical visit.

The extended reach of online activity also means Valence House can reach people who have not been part of their core visitors previously and demonstrate that it is a welcoming and engaging place to visit.