Meet the team behind UKNC’s Local to Global project and tell us how a resilient network would benefit you.

Liam Smyth & Alison Smedley      –      February 14, 2023      –      8 min read

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At the end of January 2023, the UK National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC) onboarded two new team members to support the delivery of Local to Global, a project made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players.

Over the next 20 months, the project will develop a resilient network for UNESCO Designated Sites in the UK – including World Heritage Sites, Global Geoparks and Biosphere Reserves. To oversee the planning, design and delivery, two new members of the team have been recruited. Liam Smyth is the Project Implementation Manager, joining the UKNC from The Audience Agency where he specialised in evaluating and designing audience engagement strategies for clients in the cultural sector. Alison Smedley is the new Project Administrator who joins the team from The Inland Waterways Association where she coordinated national campaigns, parliamentary activities and led groups of volunteers delivering practical projects.

Local to Global will convene UNESCO site coordinators and external consultants to generate a community of practice that promote skills, confidence and capacity-building in the following key areas:

● Audience development, stakeholder mapping and inclusion
● Fundraising and financial sustainability
● Digital transformation and web development

By October 2024, we will deliver on the following:

Time Period Project Stage Project Activity
Oct ‘22 – Jan ‘23 Project initiation Convene project board, recruit and onboard new team members, finalise project definition documents, begin wider network consultation
Feb ‘23 – Apr ‘23 Project planning Consultancy briefs go out to tender, project evaluator is onboarded and an evaluation plan put in place
May ‘23 – May ‘24 Project execution Research best practice across the network, identify exemplars and develop case studies, deliver collaborative learning exercises for the UKNC and wider network on the key areas.
June ‘24 – Oct ‘24 Project closure End of project hybrid showcase event and final project evaluation published. A new online platform is published to facilitate advanced peer learning beyond the end of the project. Network consulted on legacy.


Additionally, we will arrange training, events and research that respond to needs and opportunities that arise from regular feedback loops that will feature over the course of the project.

Local to Global is the start of something much bigger. We want to build a strong case to leverage policy and investment for a fully realised UNESCO network in the UK (and globally). As such, the UKNC team and project board will consult with relevant parties to select three pilot sites to work with more closely and evidence the impact this project will make at a community level. The pilot sites will be identified using a strategic approach taking geographic, sustainability and social factors into account, which we will expand on in our upcoming blog post.

Principally, the Heritage Fund’s support will be used to supplement and turbocharge the great work that is already happening across UNESCO’s network in the UK. We expect to find world-leading best practice benchmarks that deliver on the key areas above. To unleash this learning, we need to get a dialogue started.

Take a moment to tell us about what you do and what you would like to see from the Local to Global project by completing this short Google Form:

And to stay up to date on project developments, please visit the Local to Global landing page:

The Local to Global project is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players.

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