UEA Research for Community Heritage Ideas Bank: starting with your idea

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Research & Enterprise Services

Abstract

UEA's virtual Open Day, May & June 2012 - A Research for Community Heritage Ideas Bank: starting with your idea
To explore the potential of research for community heritage we need to start with ideas. Our experience at UEA tells us that the process is much the same, whether the idea originates in the community or in the academy. An idea always leads to further questions and many possible leads. At this stage it is important to ask the right questions, provide the right advice and find a focus. As a part of the 'brokerage' phase in the wider AHRC initiative linked with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and potentially other partners, UEA's Research for Community Heritage Ideas Bank enables us to start with the idea. This virtual bank, accessed via webpages hosted on UEA's website, linked via key partner networks and promoted via a communications plan that will include face-to-face events and meetings by a team of postgraduate researchers, will gather ideas from communities and from researchers. Our wrap-around engagement and support activities for all stakeholders, before and after the live deposit period, will underpin and provide a platform upon which researchers and communities can come together and co-create a blueprint for the community heritage projects which may be eligible for the HLF funding.

Why a virtual ideas bank - UEA is located on the hinterland of East Anglia, a region with a population of around 3.4 million people living in rural, town, city and coastal communities in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire & Essex. Hosting one or more open days either on campus or at different locations would not enable us to reach a broad enough audience and might even attract only the 'usual' suspects; that is, those who already engage with the University. The virtual Ideas Bank will give the project another dimension by enabling us to scale up our reach throughout the Region. The Ideas Bank will also be open to all UEA researchers in HUM and in other UEA faculties, particularly the Faculty of Social Sciences of which two members of the research team are members.

Planned Impact

This outline assessment of impact is made with the acknowledgement that the Ideas Bank project is just the first phase of a wider funding call that will lead to the development of collaborative or co-produced community heritage projects that could benefit both society and the academy in different ways. The benefits of the project will be mutual, for researchers and for communities. At UEA we have already seen the positive impact that is achieved by creating opportunities for researchers and communities to try things out in partnership projects through the CUE East funded and supported projects (see Collaborating Activities Attachments). The CUE East evaluation states, "82% who had received CUE East support perceived that it would have an impact in terms of nurturing a change of culture at UEA, and also suggested that the support may lead to long-term relationships between UEA and the wider community" Stakeholder Perception Survey, 2011

Communities will benefit from the project in practical ways by having the opportunity to register or 'deposit' their ideas for a community heritage project, guided by UEA, if needed. UEA postgraduate researchers will be visiting community locations, as facilitated by for example, Norfolk Rural Community Council, to talk to communities about how to deposit their ideas. Communities will have their ideas assessed by the University for a potential UEA academic partner from any of UEA's Arts & Humanities Schools and also relevant Schools in the Social Science Faculty. They would not have to navigate the academic maze searching for relevant research expertise as that would be done for them. Their ideas will be put into a Prospective Partners Map that will inform the next step of the project. Those communities with ideas that have the best match with UEA's expertise will have facilitated introductions to researchers for their projects. And those communities that decide they do want to go ahead with an HLF grant application and use UEA expertise will get project development and management advice from UEA's public engagement office, CUE East when preparing their application. In the context of the wider funding call, this initiative, involving academic researchers following the AHRC funded brokerage phase, will help to build at a local level, a sense of place, ensuring that community identity and heritage does not become obscured by the ever pressing demands of coping with the recession and in fact, takes its rightful place in building community cohesion and resilience for the future. In addition, the initiative may lead to potential for tourism opportunities and economic growth.

The project community partners will benefit from the project by having an opportunity to for example, enhance their learning & development programme for staff and volunteers e.g. building research and project management skills. They will also have an opportunity to find out more about UEA's research expertise in community heritage. And they will be able to build on their existing community relations and, in particular, develop new community partnerships centred on possible HLF funded projects that uncover as yet, unexplored community heritage and narratives.

Researchers at UEA will, like communities, benefit from the project in practical ways by having the opportunity to register or 'deposit' their relevant expertise, and also ideas, for potential community heritage projects, guided by UEA, if needed. They will have their ideas assessed by the University for a potential community partner. They would not have to navigate the community maze searching for a partner as that would be done for them. Their expertise and ideas will be put into a Prospective Partners Map that will inform the next step of the project and they will benefit from facilitated introductions to communities.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Our main activity was to give advice and support to 49 community groups across the UK, many of whom had not worked with the UEA before. We also worked closely with them to clear identify their needs in terms of research and skills-based training to support their All Our Stories projects. The need for digital and web-based training was a particularly strong theme with many community groups.
Exploitation Route The findings from this phase of the project could be used by academics interested in the role and value of heritage within local communities, and by anyone interested in developing close working relationships between community groups and universities.
Sectors Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL https://www.uea.ac.uk/history/engagement
 
Description A key part of the Ideas Bank project was to support community groups in developing an application to the All Our Stories scheme of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project team worked with 49 community groups across the UK, many of whom had not worked with the UEA before. Developing these relationships has been particularly important; some groups were successful in their applications to the HLF and went on to work with the project team in the second phase of the Ideas Bank project, and we have also maintained links with those who did not submit applications to the HLF (which has led to two separate projects with staff from the School of History). We worked closely with funded groups to identify their needs in terms of research support and skills training which fed into our Phase 2 project.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description BBC Great British Story, Ickworth (Ideas Bank Phase 1) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Members of the project team attended a roadshow at Ickworth House to promote the All Our Stories scheme and the support on offer from the Ideas Bank project in applying for an HLF grant. Members of the public and local groups were invited to submit their idea for a project to the Ideas Bank by talking to the team, filling out a postcard, or filling out a web form.

After the event we received a number of enquiries from local community groups who were interested in applying for an All Our Stories grant with support from the Ideas Bank team. Some of these ideas became projects that were funded by the HLF All Our Stories scheme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Norfolk History Fair - Gressenhall (Ideas Bank Phase 1) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project team attended the Norfolk History Fair at the Museum of Norfolk Life in Gressenhall to promote the Ideas Bank project and to encourage local history and community groups to apply for an HLF grant from the All Our Stories scheme. Members of the public and local groups were invited to submit their idea for a project to the Ideas Bank by talking to the team, filling out a postcard, or filling out a web form.

We received a number of enquiries, postcards and ideas for potential projects after the event, some of which resulted in applications to the All Our Stories HLF scheme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Norfolk Village SOS (Ideas Bank Phase 1) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Members of the project team attended the Norfolk Village SOS roadshow to promote the Ideas Bank project and the HLF All Our Stories scheme to groups and organisation who might be interested in applying for an HLF grant. Members of the public and local groups were invited to submit their idea for a project to the Ideas Bank by talking to the team, filling out a postcard, or filling out a web form.

After the event we received a number of enquiries from local community groups who were interested in applying for an All Our Stories grant with support from the Ideas Bank team, some of which resulted in applications to the HLF.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Workshop for All Our Stories grantees (Ideas Bank Phase 1) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project team organised a workshop at the UEA for successful All Our Stories grantees. The invitation was extended not only to the groups we had already worked with to develop projects, but all successful All Our Stories groups within the eastern region. The purpose of the workshop was to introduce the concept of the Ideas Bank, the project team and to showcase the support on offer from the UEA to successful projects. All groups had the opportunity to share the aims and objectives of their projects, and then group sessions and round table discussions were held on research needs and expectations, the potential of using digital media and avoiding the pitfalls of project management.

The workshop strengthened our ties with community groups that we had already worked with, and also enabled us to make links with new community groups. The workshop was particularly helpful in formulating our ideas for our activities in Phase 2 of the Ideas Bank project, which were closely linked to the training needs and resources identified by community groups who attended this workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012