The Regeneration Game: Recognising the Past in Order to Re-brand the Future

The Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress, the new London Route Master bus and the Beatles are all integral components of British cultural identity, influencing worldwide perceptions of British culture. This presentation will illustrate how these, and future, cultural icons are directly influenced by the Mechanics’ Institute movement and what a public understanding of the impact and legacy of the movement could mean for the future of contemporary institutions.

This presentation explores examples of how several UK Universities are currently in the process of re-branding and reinventing their public image by reconnecting and embracing their Mechanics’ Institute origins, using events and projects to engage staff, students and the public in this process. The aim of this presentation is to promote discussion around ideas for future public engagement events and their impact on contemporary institutions.


Eve Hartley, Heritage Consortium PhD Candidate, University of Huddersfield


Eve Hartley