Case Study
Auckland Castle

In 2014 Flint was retained by Auckland Castle Trust to develop and deliver a communications strategy in support of the £17m renovation of the 800 year old former palace of the Prince Bishops in Co. Durham, the key element of a wider £60m heritage-led social regeneration project for the North East of England.

Objectives for the campaign included raising public awareness of Auckland Castle’s unique historical significance, positioning the venue as one of the UK’s most important heritage destinations, delivering key messaging around the venue’s enhanced visitor offering and driving visitor numbers, engaging with local communities, enhancing the profile of Auckland Castle Trust amongst the UK’s arts, culture and heritage professionals and establishing Auckland Castle as a centre of excellence in the study of Spanish Golden Age Art.

Flint put in place a 12 month promotional timeline that drew on key assets, events and spokespeople in order to ensure extensive and impactful media cut-through.  The unveiling of a specially commissioned portrait of the former Bishop of Durham Justin Welby secured coverage in six separate national newspapers, a press conference for the launch of the ‘11 Arches’ project delivered a full-page feature in the Financial Times and a dedicated ITV News report, and a symposium on Spanish Art produced wide-ranging b2b arts industry press exposure.  In addition, the campaign was particularly successful in building an effective media platform for ACT’s chairman (art collector and philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer), with comment commissions, news features and public speaking opportunities (Keynote address at Heritage Exchange 2014 conference) supported by targeted interview opportunities in the national and international media.

In early 2015, Flint was tasked to deliver a promotional campaign around the 350th anniversary of St. Peter’s Chapel, situated in the grounds of Auckland Castle and Europe’s largest private chapel. Working closely with the London-based commercial art gallery Blain|Southern, Flint unveiled a bespoke installation by the American video artist Bill Viola within the chapel, an initiative that secured wide-ranging national media exposure, with coverage running in The Art Newspaper, the Sunday Times, the Guardian and Wallpaper magazine.

Flint has since been retained by ACT  to provide ongoing communications consultancy for the Auckland Castle restoration project through to completion in 2018, with an expanded operational remit to include liaison with public and private sector stakeholders and delivery partners ranging from Durham County Council, English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund to Niall McLaughlin Architects, Purcell and Casson Mann.

 

Image Credit: Auckland Castle exterior (detail), Courtesy of Auckland Castle Trust

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