Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre is run by Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust, which is a charity registered in England and Wales, number 1120476.
The Trust was formed in 2006 with the primary aim of recovering and preserving the remains of the Sunderland flying boat T9044. We have developed since then to cover the wider heritage of Pembroke Dock and the surrounding area, covering military, maritime, industrial and social history. We hold a collection of historic artefacts including original art, military memorabilia and ephemera, uniform, medals, photographs, industrial items, models, social history items, and much more.
The Trust relies on income from Heritage Centre admissions, as well as sales in the Gift Shop and Coffee Shop, as well as charitable donations from members of the public and corporate sponsorship. At present, the Trust doesn’t receive any core funding, except for a small but essential contribution from Pembroke Dock Town Council towards part of our rent.
The towns of Pembroke and Pembroke Dock are ranked as being among the most socially and economically deprived in Pembrokeshire, with wards featuring in the top 10% in all of Wales (according to Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation, 2014). We are working to make a real positive social and economic impact in these communities on a variety of fronts – many of which are interwoven.
Provision of cultural leisure facilities in Pembroke Dock
The Heritage Centre is working toward Accredited Museum status, and is open six days a week, for ten months of the year. In addition to the displays and permanent exhibits, we aim to provide three Special Exhibitions each year, covering a different aspect of local heritage and profiling different areas of our historic collection.
Further to this we provide activities for families during school holidays, as well as a venue for community groups. In summer 2016 we ran a series of daytime Heritage Walks around the historic Royal Dockyard followed by an autumn programme of late openings and evening talks aimed at local people.
The Heritage Centre also runs regular events, working with Pembroke Dock Town Council’s events team on events such as Pembroke Dock Midsummer Festival, Pop-Up Cinema events and our annual Armed Forces Day celebration. We also host regular cultural events independently and in partnership with a range of other local organisations.
- Providing a ‘Sense of Place’
We are the only venue telling the comprehensive story of Pembroke Dock and its community. While much of the heritage is also evidenced in the buildings of the town, the Heritage Centre has a role in communicating the Town’s historic international importance to the local community.
- A venue for volunteering
The Trust works with approximately 80 volunteers, with about 30-40 individuals regularly attending the Heritage Centre with core functions within the organisation.
Our volunteer roles include customer facing roles in retail, catering, customer service, tour-guides and ‘heritage interpreters’, as well as roles supporting care of collections in documenting and heritage conservation.
Our volunteers include a diverse range of individuals, at different stages within their working lives. All our volunteers choose to work with us because they share our vision, but most will have other motivations for choosing to spend their time and energy on our cause.
We also actively work with local agencies who are seeking volunteering opportunities for the people they work with.
Work in and with the community
We are actively involved in a number of partnerships with community projects, local charities and other agencies working to support the local community.
This includes one-off activities, where we may give a presentation or run a single activity for a group. But it also includes projects which may include a number of activities with the target audience, as well as providing project support.
- Health and wellbeing
The Trust’s work with volunteers and with a range of other organisations mean that we continually contribute toward the Health and Wellbeing agenda in the local area, providing opportunities for a range of individuals.
The Heritage Centre can play a key role in education, providing a venue for educational visits, and supplying materials and resources to support both formal and informal learning.
- Learning Outside the Classroom
For formal education groups such as schools, the Heritage Centre provides a major opportunity for cultural learning. In addition to the collections and displays, the Heritage Centre can provide access to the grounds, and be the key to unlocking a range of educational opportunities within the built environment of the former Royal Dockyard.
We have the potential to engage a wide age range, from Foundation to KS4 and beyond, in a number of curriculum subjects, not limited to History, but including Science, Technology, Maths, Art and Design, Geography, Computers, and others.
Heritage Centre staff are in a good position to provide high-quality heritage learning experiences and resources to any school wishing to work with us.
- A destination for informal learning
In addition to providing facilities for school visits, the Heritage Centre ensures that its displays, exhibits and activities are produced with learning objectives in mind. Activities such as those designed for families during school holidays, heritage walks or evening talks all contribute toward ongoing learning by all our visitors and participants.
Learning objectives can fall within one of five categories, as defined by the Inspiring Learning for All framework of Generic Learning Outcomes, designed to help cultural venues measure the impact of their activities.
- Playing a part in Lifelong Learning
The Trust sees learning as a continual process, which changes through time with individuals. The Trust is committed to providing opportunities to people to continue learning, study and research, and to assist other organisations and community groups in facilitating this.
The Heritage Centre plays a key role in bringing day-trippers and visitors to the area into Pembroke Dock, and we feel that it is one of the major tourist destinations in this part of the county. Tourism also has incremental social and economic benefits to Pembroke Dock and the surrounding area, not only in the fact that many of our visitors will also use shops, restaurants, pubs and other businesses and services in the town as part of their visit here, but also in generating a sense of civic pride in the local community.
The heritage of Pembroke Dock is regionally, nationally and internationally significant
8,000 people visit the Heritage Centre each year, many of whom come from outside the immediate local area with significant numbers being visitors from outside the county. Visitors often include domestic holiday-makers who are staying in Pembrokeshire as well as international visitors to the UK.
Because of the Heritage Centre’s unique collections, each year we receive a number of visits from individuals who visit the area with the specific intention of visiting the Heritage Centre – in 2016 this included visitors from as far afield as Australia and Canada, amongst others, who have family military connections with Pembroke Dock.
- Cultural Heritage Tourism is a vital for Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire receives over 4 million visitors each year. Cultural heritage plays an important role both as an attraction in its own right, as well as being a supplementary activity to other important leisure attractions in Pembrokeshire. We feel that we can not only offer a ‘wet weather’ alternative to the county’s beautiful countryside and beaches, but that many visitors to the area are grateful for a diversity in the attractions they visit whilst staying here.
As an important tourist destination in Pembroke Dock, .
- High quality facilities
The Heritage Centre is working towards Accredited Museum status; Accreditation will demonstrate the standards we offer, not only in terms of the care of our collections, but also in terms of the care of our visitors.