I'm working with heritage consultant Ali Bodley on a project to review and redevelop the learning offer at Wilberforce House in Hull. We've been commissioned by the team at Hull Culture and Leisure to help them think through the future of the venue by consulting with local communities, schools and wider stakeholders and developing proposals for how the interpretation and programming at Wilberforce House can better reflect contemporary priorities.
Wilberforce House is the birthplace of Yorkshire MP and prominent abolitionist William Wilberforce, famous for his involvement in the campaign to abolish the transatlantic slave trade in the early 19th century. The museum was refurbished in 2007 to mark the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade and its displays explore the history of slavery, abolition, and the legacy of slavery today. Given the events of the past couple of years, particularly the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement and the increasing focus in the heritage sector on recognising and examining the impact of empire and colonialism, the time is right for a review of Wilberforce House's interpretation and programming. We'll be working with the museum team over the next few months to unpick the issues and develop a way forward.