The virtual ERIH main route consists of so-called Anchor Points. The name says it all. Many features anchored here. Primarily the overall route framework. Anchor Points cover the complete range of European industrial history. After that, they tell tourists what they can see at a local level. Visitors of all ages can relive their industrial heritage through fascinating guided tours, exciting multi-media presentations and outstanding special events. Last not least, all the anchor points are simultaneously starting points for a variety of regional routes.

Anchor Points are member sites of the ERIH association with special historical importance in terms of industrial heritage which also offer a high quality visitor experience. They are the milestones of European Industrial Heritage. Acceptance as an Anchor Point is a seal of quality and it offers visitors the promise of an enjoyable and interesting visit.

Selection criteria

Anchor Points have to fulfil the following requirements of the quality and selection criteria. Due to national differences and others factors, ERIH is aware that not necessarily all of these always can be fulfilled, but the more criteria that are fulfilled, the better it is.

The ideal Anchor Point

  • is a historically authentic site with symbolic value and (ideally national) importance for Europe´s industrial history. However, if the site is not in a historic building or structure (for example in a new museum building), the attractiveness and the quality of the visitor experience, its content and presentation will be decisive
  • recounts its history with imaginative interpretation and exhibitions,
  • offers its visitors attractive up-to-date facilities, e.g.
    - on site visits,
    - demonstrations of factory operations,
    - multimedia installations,
    - guided (multi-lingual) tours,
    - special offers and tours for children
  • uses its surroundings for exhibitions, cultural events and other attractions,
  • fulfils visitor expectations in terms of up-to-date tourism infrastructure and services, including:
    - visitor centre/reception/shop
    - all-year round, or at least seasonal, opening times, 5-days-a-week
    - restaurant/café/bistro at the site or at least nearby
    - toilet facilities
    - fully accessible for people with limited mobility
    - connection to public transport and cycling routes
    - on-site bus, car and bike parking
    - signposting inside and outside
    - rest places, especially for outdoor exhibitions
  • is rated above average by its visitors (4.5 ranking stars or higher in at least 100 reviews at 'Google ranking')

Selection procedure

Exclusively members of the ERIH association may be recognised and presented as Anchor Points. An Anchor Point application will be considered by the ERIH board, who will take into account the following:

  • Information provided by the applicant
    - completed "Questionnaire for sites", in particular the information about tourism infrastructure, services and offers
    - additional information material (brochures, leaflets, press reports… ) about the history and the current presentation of the site
    - film or photo documentation (inside and outside the museum) which shows what the visitor will see as they explore the site
  • Report by a board member who has visited the site. The report mainly contains information about the authenticity of the site as well as an evaluation of the attractiveness and the quality of experience of the exhibition/presentation in relation to the Anchor Point selection criteria. If the site is not known to a Board Member, a special visit will be required at the expense of the applicant.

Anchor Points. Obligations

Anchor Points are the highest profile representatives of the ERIH network. They promote the industrial heritage brand "ERIH" and therefore have a special responsibility not to disappoint visitors with their offers and services.

Anchor Points commit themselves (agreement; see download at the end) to:

  • actively promote ERIH through media and marketing activity, including:
    - using ERIH’s logo in publications and promotional material (books, brochures, posters, flyers, website ...)
    - linking to the ERIH website
    - referring to and promoting ERIH in lectures and publications
  • regular employee training and awareness-raising (front of house staff, guides …) about:
    - the site’s own history and visitor offers
    - other (industrial-) tourism attractions in the region
    - the work and offers of local/regional industrial heritage networks
    - the ERIH networkservice information such as public transport connections to and from the site, accommodation and restaurants nearby etc.
  • proactively provide the following information to the ERIH office
    - the annual number of visitors
    - updated data about the site on the ERIH website (opening/closing times, restoration, new offers, services etc.)
    - changes or/and improvement of the exhibition
    - development plans of the site
  • engage in cross-marketing and joint promotional activities with other ERIH sites in the region
  • prompt payment of their annual ERIH membership subscription (currently 500 Euros)
  • support the development of Regional Routes in the surrounding region
  • enhance their visitor offer (subject to their financial capacity) through innovative and attractive tourism concepts