Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Shire Hall Dorchester - Justice in the Balance

© Copyright Roger Templeman Creative Commons Licence


Dorchester’s Shire Hall is a rare architectural gem and one of the best-preserved buildings of its kind, remaining almost unchanged since it first opened in 1796/7.
A centre of law, order and government for over 200 years - Shire Hall was a place where all sectors of society interacted. The trial of the Tolpuddle Martyrs  took place here in 1834 and changed the course of history and helped to shape the society in which we live today. Later, the writer Thomas Hardy served as a magistrate at the court, an experience which inspired some of his writing.
A project grant has been secured from the Heritage Lottery fund of £1.5 million that West Dorset District Council has match-funded. The aim of the project is to renovate and re-use the Shire Hall building and its Old Crown Court and cells as a heritage attraction and centre for learning that will encompass many aspects of law, politics, citizenship and history. In addition to creating a visitor attraction within the historic parts of the building, the refurbishment project will provide a new gallery for temporary exhibitions, a learning room, a shop and a cafĂ©.
The marketing strategy and plan will place Shire Hall - Justice in the Balance Visitor Centre at the heart of Dorset’s tourist offer by building a coherent and cohesive offer that works with partner organisations, attractions potential partners and linkages (e.g. for trails). 
The strap line ‘Justice in the Balance’ will play a key role in differentiating the Centre within the overall tourist offer and in all marketing communications.