Paralympic Heritage : Stories from Bradford


Project Team

Client: National Paralympic Heritage Trust

Designers: Mather & Co

Exhibition Fit Out: Elmwood Projects


In 2019 we delivered a temporary Exhibition Fit Out for the National Paralympic Heritage Trust, in partnership with Exhibition Designers Mather & Co.

Open from January to June 2019 at the majestic Cartwright Hall in Bradford, which sits within the stunning grounds of Lister Park, the ground-breaking Paralympic Heritage: Stories from Bradford exhibition received 25,000 visitors in just 6 months. The exhibition was one of a number of regional temporary exhibitions which were installed across the country to celebrate individual Paralympians and disabled athletes with links to each region. The exhibition was a fantastic and inspirational success, engaging with audiences of all ages, abilities and backgrounds and challenging perceptions of disability. Particular events focusing on schools and families celebrated personal achievements and diversity, and ‘Have a Go’ sports sessions were also available throughout the duration.

The exhibition showcased a range of displays, memorabilia and art from past Paralympic games and explored the many contributions which have been made to Paralympian heritage in Britain – for example, early Paralympian Paul Cartwright’s pioneering prototype three wheeled racing wheelchair, which he built in 1985. This particularly special piece of Paralympian heritage was suspended and lit up at night within the Cartwright Hall’s glass dome, as a striking centrepiece to the Exhibition.

Accessibility was, naturally, a key factor for the Exhibition which was given consideration from the earliest stages of the project by all parties involved. Emphasis was placed on the importance of understanding the needs of the differing groups of visitors with disabilities, whether physical or mental. Physical, visual, auditory and psychological accessibility were all carefully considered as factors. Mather & Co designed the spaces and displays to be easy to navigate and understand, and we took great care to ensure that our design development, fabrication works and choices of materials and finishes carried that ethos through impeccably to the finished result.

Elmwood Projects’ works to this Exhibition comprised Bespoke joinery including Setworks, wall and shelf units and AV housing, plus integration with the subcontracted installation packages for graphics and AV Hardware and software.

New acrylic display cases and hoods were fabricated by our workshop, some requiring seamless integration to existing bases. New timber framework display case bases and shelves were fabricated in 18mm MDF, along with new access panels and case interior plinths, also in 18mm MDF. All Setwork items were finished in our environmentally controlled spray room.

The exhibition was organised by the National Paralympic Heritage Trust in collaboration with Bradford Museums and Galleries and was supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

A Virtual tour of the exhibition is still available!
Click here to explore…