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Developing a digital strategy for Powys Cultural Services

As an organisation we feel a natural affinity with Wales. From Welsh family relations, to our Shropshire office, to other projects based in Wales, we have strong links to Cymru. So when we heard that we were successful in bidding for the chance to develop a digital strategy for Powys Cultural Services we were understandably thrilled.

Covid-19 accelerates change

As part of the wider County Council, Powys Cultural Services provides an important heritage, leisure and educational offer to local residents. This consists of:

  • 17 public libraries
  • 4 accredited museums
  • Archives service

The Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020 required Powys’ libraries, museums and archive to rapidly change their offer. With public access to buildings severely restricted, they needed to quickly transition to a set of digital services. The result of this shift was a significant increase in the use of online resources and requests for access to collections.

This success convinced the Powys Cultural Services team that they should develop a longer term digital strategy. The aim of this is to outline a sustainable and comprehensive approach to growing their online offers. By doing so, Powys Cultural Services aims to embed a joined-up, resilient digital environment that drives rich community engagement and transactional services.

Defining a digital strategy

To produce the digital strategy, we have divided the project into four key areas:

  • Research – engaging with stakeholders to understand the current landscape, both within Powys Cultural Services and externally
  • Options – developing a long-list of opportunities for future digital services
  • Analysis – assessing the short-list against a series of criteria
  • Recommendations – providing a series of key recommendations against the strategic roadmap

We will then pull all of this information into a business case that will be presented to Powys Cultural Services for a collective review.

Our next steps

We are currently working in the research phase of the digital strategy. Our team is busy pulling together sector research for each strand of the Powys Cultural Services offer. Alongside this we’re planning cross-cutting workshops and a user questionnaire.

Our team has developed similar strategies for the Library of Birmingham, British Council South Asia Libraries, Silverstone Heritage and Yorkshire Film Archive. Therefore we’re naturally excited to be supporting Powys Cultural Services to develop their new digital future. It’s our aim that the digital strategy will provide a robust and clear roadmap for the evolution of online cultural services.

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