The Box.

The Box is a £46 million cultural destination for Plymouth. It is a museum, gallery and archive, café and bar. It is a place that holds the stories of Plymouth and the South West but is also a place to create stories too.

The Box logo
Exterior view of The Box

Photographs reproduced by kind permission of The Box, Plymouth City Council.

The challenge.

As part of the funding bid for The Box, the team had commissioned a high-level report which provided headlines for a learning service. The team engaged Innovate Educate Ltd to dig below the surface to ensure the proposed learning offer would meet local need.

Our role.

The team at The Box appointed Innovate Educate Ltd to explore the learning offer via two phases of development:

  • Phase 1: Market research with formal learning audiences
  • Phase 2: Development of plans and resources for an onsite offer.


What we delivered.

Initial consultation showed that schools and young people wanted an innovative and different learning programme. They were ambitious and wanted to:

  • Work with and alongside experts
  • Ask questions that are important to them
  • Listen but also have their voices heard
  • Create a response to what they see, hear, feel, touch, even taste, and learn at The Box
  • See their work displayed at The Box or making an impact in the wider community
  • Work with people of all ages for the good of their community. Some even want to work alongside (or competitively) with parents/carers

  • Take something away from the Master Classes; a small memento or something they have made to share with others, to remind them of the Master Class.

We worked with a range of experts from Plymouth and the South West: Archaeologists, Archivists, staff from the BBC, Curators, Marine Archaeologists and Biologists, Music Technicians, Musicians, Scientists, young people and Teachers. We were led by young people and explored themes that matter to them including: sustainability, food, music, storytelling, social media and news. The result is a range of Master Classes where young people will work with experts using The Box’s collection to investigate local achievement and pride in the city.

Each Master Class:

  • Is inspired by the contents of The Box
  • Offers an opportunity to work with experts from Plymouth and the South West
  • Results in a creative response to the collections, exhibitions and archives
  • Provides an opportunity to share skills to stimulate a community project back to school
  • Provides an opportunity to exhibit young people’s best work through The Box.

Our top tips for working with young people are heavily influenced by this work.


A truly innovative and informed learning programme that meets the needs of the local community. The programme is based on pride in Plymouth.