How does Mather & Co today compare to Mather & Co in 1995?
When I started Mather & Co I had just left Granada after setting up the successful Studios Tour. Our first museum project was working on a factory tour and exhibition with General Motors in Frankfurt. Today, our clients range from sports museums to cathedrals to history museums but we still use that leisure and attractions knowledge I gained at the very start in all of our projects.
What was the company’s philosophy when it was established and has that changed over the years?
When I started Mather & Co, our philosophy was simple: to look for new ways to tell stories, engage visitors and attract new audiences. It’s been at the heart of everything we’ve done since. As a team, we love what we do and try to inject our passion into every project to ensure visitors take as much from the experience as we do. I think as long as we can keep doing that we are on the right track. It’s worked for the last 20 years!
What skills and expertise does the company pride itself on and what makes it distinct from the competition?
We are a highly creative team with varied skills from architectural liaison, specialist exhibition knowledge and content development. Many of our team also have experience of running visitor attractions and museums so we fully understand the practicalities of the museum development process as well as the operations side. This means that we not only design fully functional attractions but that they always have that ‘wow’ factor.
How many projects in the museum and heritage sector have you worked on in the past 20 years?
Too many to count! Within the next 12 months Mather & Co will be completing over ten museums and attractions. We have worked on such a broad range of projects from sports attractions and stadiums tours such as the National Football Museum, Chelsea FC Museum and Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum to wonderful heritage projects like York Minster Revealed, Norton Priory and the National Horseracing Museum.
What have been the highlights?
We are very lucky to have had some amazing experiences and it is difficult to pick out only a few highlights. One of our more recent projects at the Springbok Experience was truly inspirational. In South Africa rugby is much more than a sport and there was a real desire to address the complicated history of the country alongside the love of the game. It was refreshing to work with a client who did not want to shy away from the difficult truths and as a result of that we were able to create something that was much more than just a sports museum.
Other highlights include the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. We were working on the project during the London 2012 Olympics and had the amazing opportunity to see the opening ceremony and visit the Olympic Village. There was no better way to understand how the village works than to walk its streets.
In what ways has the sector changed in the past twenty years and how has Mather & Co managed to adapt and keep going strong?
Visitors are much more technologically savvy today. When we first started mobile phones only made calls and text messages had a 160 character limit! Nowadays almost every museum visitor has a smart phone. We have had to react to this along with other developments in technology. Keeping up-to-date with new technology and looking at exciting and innovative ways to use existing hardware means that we can continue to create amazing experiences that people can’t find elsewhere.
What does the future hold for the company?
Next year we will be opening a number of high profile projects including The Norwegian Olympic Museum and the Royal Mint experience and we will also be completing a significant stage of the Silverstone Heritage Live attraction. So whilst next year is definitely going to be extremely busy we are looking forward to some very exciting times ahead. The business has gone from strength to strength since 1995 and it continues to grow still now. With new project enquiries every day, a sensational list of current clients and a dedicated team the future is looking great! Watch this space!
1995: Beefeater Gin Attraction & Tour
1998: Opel Live General Motors Attraction
2000: Thunder City Cape Town Aviation and Motor Theme Park
2004: The Lowry Box Office & The Studio
2005-2008: Wimbledon Retail – Retail outlets for Centre Court, Court No1 & Museum building
2006: Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
2006: The Arsenal Experience
2007: South Africa Breweries tour & attraction
2007: Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
2007: Manchester City FC Retail
2007: Wembley Stadium Retail
2008: Wimbledon Centre Court Theming
2008: Polo Ralph Lauren Concession
2008: An Audience with Sir Alex Ferguson, Old Trafford
2009: Lords Cricket Ground Retail
2009: Wimbledon Centre Court 360
2009: Wembley Artifacts
2010: Wimbledon Court No1 Restaurants
2010: Fred Perry Sculpture Presentation
2010: Volvo Ocean Race HQ
2010: Mars Petcare HQ
2010: The Hawke Club (Yorkshire County Cricket Club)
2011: Chelsea FC Museum
2011: Yorkshire County Cricket Club Museum
2011: Mere Golf Resort Hotel and Spa
2011: Warwickshire County Cricket Club Museum
2011: The Wembley Olympic Tablets
2012: Volvo Ocean Race Museum
2012: National Football Museum
2012: York Minster Revealed – The Orb
2012: Wolves Football Museum
2013: The Olympic Museum
2013: The Springbok Experience
2013: Revealing York Minster – The Undercroft
2013: Richard III: Leicester’s Search for a King
2013: Game Changers: 125 Years of the Football League (Temporary Exhibition at National Football Museum)
2013: Arsenal FC Directors Box
2013: FC Porto Museum
2013: The Olympic Museum
2014: Children’s Library, Manchester Central Library
2014: Coronation Street – The Tour
2014: Archives+ Manchester Central Library
2014: The Greater Game: Football and the First World War
2015: Qasr Al Hosn Exhibition
2015: Metalwork Gallery, Museums Sheffield
Current & Future Projects
2015: Nevin Spence Centre
2015: North Hertfordshire Museum
2015: Weston Park Museum, Museums Sheffield
2016: Norwegian Olympic Museum
2016: Royal Mint
2016: Norton Priory Museum & Gardens
2016: Crawley Museum
2016: National Horseracing Museum