Luigi Micheletti Award

Luigi Micheletti Award 1999 Winner
Verdant Works - Dundee (United Kingdom)

Verdant Works is owned and operated by Dundee Heritage Trust, a registered charity. The organisation was formed in 1985, springing from a small band of dedicated local people concerned that unless action was taken important aspects of the city’s history would be lost forever. As well as Verdant Works, the Trust has responsibility for the Royal Research Ship Discovery, one of the nation’s most important ships.

Verdant Works tells the story of Dundee's textile industries, from the early days of 18th century flax weaving, through the introduction and rise of jute production to the present day and the manufacture of modern materials such as polypropylene.

The Trust's collection of historic jute machinery, much of it over 100 years old, has been restored to working condition to give visitors a vivid appreciation of working life in the mills and factories. Verdant Works is the last working jute mill in Scotland, keeping alive the traditional skills of spinning and weaving by processing jute from the raw fibre through to finished cloth.

At its peak in 1900, the jute industry in Dundee employed 50,000 people (half the city's working population) and supplied much of the world's demand for jute goods. The majority of workers were women and children and the dramatic social impact of this on the city and its people is covered in some detail in the museum’s displays.

A visit to Verdant Works involves interaction with volunteer guides, showcases of historic objects, graphic panels, audio-visual shows, models and dioramas, audio tracks, lighting and sound effects, interactive computer programmes and mechanical 'hands-on' interactives plus the chance to explore a nationally important historic mill building dating from 1833.
The utilization of a wide variety of interpretation techniques is designed to stimulate all the senses so that all visitors can enjoy a memorable experience. Using a combination of audio, visual and touch exhibits means there is something for everyone, regardless of their age, educational level or disability. Our good practice in the field of disability access has been recognised by the Adapt Trust (physical access) and the Intact Trust (intellectual access).

Over 8,500 school children visit our sites each year and Dundee Heritage Trust continues to strive to ensure that Verdant Works and RRS Discovery are preserved for the inspiration of future generations. We aim to provide a variety of resources and experiences which are unavailable in the classroom context - the value of experiencing the 'real thing' cannot be underestimated.

Impact of the Luigi Micheletti Award
Winning the Micheletti Prize produced a huge sense of pride in all the staff and volunteers at Verdant Works. The museum is very rooted in the community as its origins lay with a small group of local people who took action to ensure that one of the most important parts of Dundee’s history would not be lost. The Prize was a vindication of their vision.
The Prize undoubtedly raised the profile of Verdant Works, both within the museum community and to the public at large. As a mark of quality it has been a fantastic marketing tool and the benefits still continue.

Verdant Works
Verdant Works
Verdant Works
Verdant Works
Verdant Works

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