(Closed) Invitation To Tender – Digital Interpretation Specialist (including Q & A)

(Please Note This is Now Closed)


“Mr Grimsby & Mr Cleethorpes – The astonishing legacy of Edward Watkin”


Heritage Lincolnshire (HTL), in partnership with The Watkin Society, are looking to appoint an appropriately qualified individual/s or organisation/s to create two digital assets as part of “Mr Grimsby & Mr Cleethorpes – The astonishing legacy of Edward Watkin,” made possible thanks to support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF).   North East Lincolnshire is a current Area Focus for the NLHF and initial development funding for this project has been received through a North East Lincolnshire Council NLHF Heritage Starter grant.


Mr Grimsby & Mr Cleethorpes – The astonishing legacy of Edward Watkin is a National Lottery Heritage funded project, which is being delivered by HTL in partnership with the Watkin Society.

Operating for over 30 years, HTL is a county-wide charity, with the aim to investigate, conserve and celebrate the county’s rich heritage for everyone who lives, works in and visits Lincolnshire.  During their first 25 years, they successfully raised over £25million of funding for heritage projects across the county including the restoration of nine historic properties. The Watkin Society is a newly established Community Interest Company (CIC), which seeks to raise the profile of both Absalom and Edward Watkin, true pioneers of the Victorian age, but now largely forgotten.

Through a strong working relationship with five local schools, our 20-month project will use the legacy of the 19th century entrepreneur and visionary, Edward Watkin to engage and inspire the young people of Grimsby and Cleethorpes. Key to the project will be the production of  a suite of National Curriculum relevant material at both primary and secondary level, providing rich and inspirational content for local schools to share with their pupils to foster debate, ignite curiosity and widen horizons. Production of the educational resources will be undertaken by an Education Manager and is separate but closely linked to this brief. Concurrently a small number of youth Digital Heritage Ambassadors from local schools, will work with the Digital Interpretation Specialist, to co-create an accessible digital suite of materials to offer additional interpretation of Watkin’s legacy (for both towns) through mechanisms such as augmented reality, produced for use both within and outside school environments. These digital and educational materials will be launched at a high profile event involving the local school communities coming together to showcase the achievements of pupils and project legacy.

The digital elements of the project are crucial in widening audience engagement with the project.  They must balance the requirements of remaining directly relevant as a resource to be used alongside the development of the educational resources whilst, at the same time, form an engaging, accessible and enjoyable offer to the local community and visitors to the area.

Two separate assets will be produced, but both must be co-created with 30 young people (Digital Heritage Ambassadors) aged between 9 – 14, engaged with the project through participating schools. We seek to produce a film about the past, present and future of Grimsby Docks (working alongside ABP), focusing on Watkin’s vision and how this legacy has shaped much of the current regeneration work which is taking place today.  A digital trail will also be produced, centred on Cleethorpes (with a decision to be made whether to expand and include a small aspect of Grimsby) incorporating the visible aspects of Watkin’s legacy and the use of immersive technologies.  At this stage, we do not wish to be too prescriptive in what the content of the film and the trail will include, nor the types of technology which is used – this will be for the consultant to confirm based on their own subject matter expertise and, through discussion with the Digital Heritage Ambassadors.  Once complete the assets will be hosted via a footprint on Heritage Lincolnshire’s website; it will not be necessary to create a new website for this work.

To provide some initial guidance for prospective applicants, the following should be considered:

‘Out of Scope’
– The overall budget for the project will not include any purchase of new equipment for the supplier or the schools involved, nor will it include large scale purchase of headsets and other associated technology for an immersive environment. However, you may ‘buy-in’ specific expertise from another individual or organisation to support your work.
– The project should used ‘tried and tested’ technology which has proven itself in the market and is widely used.  We are wary of using cutting edge ‘immersive’ technology which requires brand new software, is not widely available/known or potentially puts the project in a ‘VHS’ vs ‘Betamax’ position, whereby it is not known if the software/platforms will be the ‘go to’ by choice in the future.

‘In Scope’
– Both assets must be produced which are both in an accessible format (e.g. including those with sight impairments, hearing impairments or those with reduced manual flexibility) and useable on mainstream publicly accessible websites such as YouTube. Consultants must specify within their tender return their recommended preferred platforms.
– We would see the production of the film using as many forms of interpretation as possible – to some extent, nothing is out of scope. This could include some or all of the following (but is not exhaustive): new film, historic film, interview, re-creation, use of historic archives/photographic material etc.
– We are open to the use of 360, VR or AR, for creation of the digital trail but believe that currently, for the purposes of this project, MR is out of scope.  However, use of any/all of the media specified as part of the production of the film is possible provided that this does not incur further costs to the overall budget for the project. If an aspect of ‘gamification’ is to be considered, it must be feasible to achieve within the budget and project delivery timeframe.

– The digital trail must be both for use outside as well as online.

– Both assets should be accessible through at least three different browsers and also useable on both Apple and Android operating systems.

– You must ensure you comply with the NLHF guidance and, where possible, all best practise, particularly concerning accessibility and inclusion Digital guidance for projects | The National Lottery Heritage Fund; Digital guide: an introduction to online accessibility | The National Lottery Heritage Fund

The main objectives of the digital interpretation will be:

i) To work closely with the project team (and specifically the Education Manager) to scope out the opportunities that both digital assets offer in terms of links with the National Curriculum and set some parameters which the Digital Heritage Ambassadors will need to work within, to remain within budget and timeframe of the project.  Perhaps most crucially perhaps, will be the need to consider whether a degree of ‘gamification’ will benefit the education resource and should remain ‘in scope.’

ii) To undertake a period of research and development to familiarise yourself with Watkin’s legacy within Grimsby and Cleethorpes. Research has been conducted by the Watkin Society, and throughout the project the Grimsby and Cleethorpes branch of the Watkin Society will aid project partners in identifying sources of historic material. Further information about Watkin is available on the Watkin Society website https://watkinsociety.org.uk/index.html and Watkin’s biographer, Geoff Scargill has written a book ‘Victoria’s Railway King’, which details Watkin’s life and his legacy.

iii) To identify local groups to consult with to maximise the accessibility of both digital assets – specifically the use of audio described technologies and British Sign Language, but considerationshould also be taken to make the resources accessible for users with limited mobility who find use of a standard keyboard, mouse or smartphone challenging. Support in identifying these local groups can be given, with the expectation that the digital specialist will be responsible for testing the accessibility of the assets.

iv) To provide workshops to the project’s Widening Horizon volunteers introducing them to the use of digital technologies and skills focusing on their application in the heritage sector. Please identify in your tender proposal how you would budget for travel costs involved in delivering these workshops.

v) To work directly with the Education Manager and the Digital Heritage Ambassadors through a series of 9 workshops (for safeguarding requirements the location will be organised by the Education Manager, it may also be required that some sessions are delivered virtually) to achieve two specific outcomes:

  • To introduce digital technologies, both existing and emerging to provide IT enrichment and explore potential career opportunities within the digital and/or heritage interpretation sector
  • To showcase a variety of themes and models for both digital assets and through discussion and practical hands-on experience, to allow the young people to help shape (and if appropriate take part in) the digital outputs

Please note – in order to carry this work out, a minimum of two adults will be required to attend as part of the digital delivery element to ensure the ratio of 1:8 working with the age cohort is met.  The other two adult representatives will be the Education Manager and the Project Coordinator. As part of Heritage Lincolnshire’s commitment to safeguarding, we welcome applications from those who have undergone enhanced DBS checks however if not DBS checked please include this in your submission costs for the tender.

vi) To work within the timeframes of the project, to have both digital resources ready to launch at the end of the 2025 academic year. There is no requirement to produce printed alternatives for either digital asset, although this will need to be confirmed with school partners early in the research phase.

This work will commence on the appointment of the successful candidate in February 2024 with a project start up meeting and a period of research, development and consultation.  The Digital Heritage Ambassadors will be recruited in June 2024, for commencement of the workshops in September or October and working through to spring/early summer 2025.  Work will complete with the launch of the assets in June 2025. To maximise build/production/creation time for the assets, it is completely acceptable to ‘front load’ the cocreation work with the Digital Heritage Ambassadors and offer workshops in exploring digital career opportunities at the end of the programme.

The maximum fee available for both digital assets is £144,000, this includes all travel and expenses and is also inclusive of VAT. You may wish to subcontract aspects of the work out or build a delivery team consisting of several individuals/organisations; both of these approaches are acceptable, but must be clearly highlighted in your tender submission.

Please note, a retention fee of 5% of the total budget will be held for a period of 12 months, in order to ensure any remaining bugs and technology ‘glitches’ are identified and resolved once the digital assets have officially ‘gone live’.  There will be a period in the project set aside for testing and a ‘soft launch,’ but it is recognised that sometimes, issues are only identified outside a host environment through wider usage.

How to apply
If you are interested in applying, but would like to discuss the project in further detail, please email anna@heritagelincolnshire.org, by 8th December 2023.

Your tender submission should be no more than four sides, and a scoring matrix will be used to assess your submission. A scoring matrix will also be used for applications that are shortlisted for interview.

Your tender submission, should include the following details:

  • A covering letter highlighting your suitability for this role and evidence of three recently completed interpretation projects which are available via the internet to access
  • A methodology statement which provides:
  1. An explanation of your proposed approach to each digital output along with (at this stage) your recommendation for the types of technologies to use such as matterport, augmented reality, gamification.
  2. Confirmation that your approach ensured the assets created are as accessible and inclusive as possible
  3. Evidence of experience working successfully on digital projects with young people; demonstrating a working knowledge of the National Curriculum with a particular focus on history and a commitment to adhere to good practise in terms of Safeguarding.
  4. Detailed project plan listing key milestones
  • Proposed project team including (where relevant) details of a partnership approach with which aspects of work would be subcontracted. For either approach, please specify the knowledge, experience and expertise of each team member.
  • Detailed project budget breakdown, demonstrating the projected cost of each digital output showing staff costs with day rates and listed other identified spend. Please clearly state that your VAT costs are also included within the total project budget.

Submissions will be assessed on a basis of:

Element Weighting
Methodology (including approach to each digital output and accessibility of technologies recommended) 30%
Consultant experience and skills (including case studies) 30%
Fee proposal 40%


Working with Associated British Ports Grimsby, Heritage Lincolnshire can arrange a site visit to Grimsby docks as well as areas of interest linked to Edward Watkin in Cleethorpes. Please highlight in your tender submission if this would be of interest to help us identify site visit planning and feasibility.

Any further tender queries (and your final submission) to anna@heritagelincolnshire.org  according to the timetable below.

 Submission Timetable                                                                                                                 

The timetable for submitting a tender of this work is as follows:

Date Process
08/12/2023 Deadline for questions to Anna Hartley (as per above email)
15/12/2023 Response to all questions circulated in one document to interested parties via Heritage Lincolnshire website
15/01/2024 Deadline for tender submission to Anna Hartley (as per above email)
29/01/2024 Submission returns review and shortlisting
12/02/2024 Interview of shortlisted candidates
01/03/2024 Successful appointment will be made subject to NLHF approved timescales

Questions and Answers about this tender brief:


Please note, Heritage Lincolnshire and the Watkin Society retain the right not to appoint and to re-advertise the contract if there are not a suitable number of tender returns of sufficient quality to satisfy funder requirements.