This month, phase one of the MOMAr project is coming to an end and, little by little, each Action Plan from the countries participating in the program are presented. Today, it’s the MOMAr partner organization from the Netherlands, the Province of Groningen, that discloses its Action Plan presenting the Heritage Lab, an action that will be integrated within a 10-year long program called the Program ERL (Heritage, Spatial Quality and Landscape) aiming to try out different policy instruments in order to bring together the different parties involved in the fields of heritage, spatial quality and landscape.

In the province of Groningen, the importance of better cooperation between the different parties in the heritage sector is immense. With a lot of big topics like earthquakes and climate change, the region needs all the help they can get to ensure the preservation of the heritage and landscape. The Heritage Lab is one of the ways to intensify this cooperation and influx of new professionals in the sector.

An ambitious action for improving the restoration sector

From the learning gained from the MOMAr project, the province of Groningen came up with the idea of implementing a Heritage Lab that will positively influence the Program ERL. This idea is inspired further by good practices from other partners, especially by projects conducted in Aragón, Spain, and focusing on heritage and education. The main goal is to preserve as much of the existing heritage and landscape of the province as possible, but also leave new heritage and additions to the landscape for the future generations.

As part of this goal, the lab will be a physical meeting place focused on education where (future) students, governments and heritage professionals can meet and exchange knowledge and experiences. Above all, this pioneer project is a way to bring closer the different stakeholders involved, such as educational institutions, market parties and the different layers of governments, ensuring a good cooperation between the different parties and thus improving the restoration sector of Groningen.

Increasing awareness on Heritage, Spatial Quality and Landscape

“Good care for heritage starts with awareness”. That’s why the province of Groningen wants, through the Heritage Lab, to encourage education to pay more attention to the value of heritage and the professional opportunities offered by the restoration field and thus ensuring a steady influx of new employees in the heritage sector. By bringing together students and professionals through courses and workshops, it will definitely raise awareness about the restoration field and will ensure the success and the sustainable development of this sector in the future.

For now, a pilot of this action is expected to be tested in the second half of 2022 and first half of 2023 to monitor any issues before structurally implementing the lab in every education’s curriculum.