Business Case for developing Convict Memorial Hub at the Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site, Hobart

The Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site and Criminal Courts (PCHS) in Hobart was the place from which all convict sites in Tasmania were administered. Tasmania’s convict records were once housed there, and the building served as the place of processing for all newly arrived male convicts. The site is managed by the National Trust of Australia, Tasmania.

A proposal was developed to utilise the digitised convict records to deliver a large interactive system within one section of the penitentiary for people to explore these records via a giant suspended digital plinth and individual I-Pads. It would interconnect a range of source material to create a story about each convict, as well as wider big picture understandings about convict life. The National Trust required the project to generate profit to reinvest in its heritage conservation and management activity at this site and others it manages.

We were engaged to develop a business case for the proposal that:

  • More clearly defined the need and added more experiential value to the subsequent proposal;
  • Added a remote digital platform to connect the experience at the penitentiary with other convict sites across Tasmania;
  • Created a staging program so that flow on funds could expand the proposal;
  • Developed a detailed development budget and funding sources;
  • Forecast subsequent visitation and financial performance of the attraction; and
  • Identified and mitigated risks.

The proposal was subsequently implemented with $3M of funding from the Tasmanian government, Australian Research Council and National Trust.

National Trust of Australia, Tasmania Branch