Research for Community Heritage: North East England

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: School of Arts and Cultures


This proposed project from Newcastle University originates from three complimentary areas of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences who have a long standing interest in working with communities. They are the:

International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS)
Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA)
School of Architecture Planning and Landscape (SAPL)

The proposed work involves 18 academic researchers from the above research units.

Three 'open days' are proposed each of which relate to the research units areas of interest - they will take place at venues associated with partner organisations:

Beamish Museum, County Durham
The Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne
Gateshead Town Hall, Gateshead

Researchers will help formulate research questions, support the research activities themselves, help interpret findings, advise on dissemination, help evaluate of the project (effectiveness of collaboration), support community groups in capturing learning from the project, continue to support community groups for future activities and, for some projects, facilitate more in-depth co-production of activities.

The partner organisations and identified community heritage groups will help provide direction to the activities

The partner organisations will help provide access to the heritage groups that they have contact with.

Planned Impact

The proposed project will use research-related knowledge and skills to benefit individuals, organisations by:

Increasing the effectiveness of public services and policy, and
Enhancing quality of life, health and creative output

It will also:

Enhance the research capacity, knowledge and skills of the community organisations involved:
Making them aware of available resources, in terms of collections and expertise, for research in the University of Newcastle and partner organisations
Making them aware of available funding for carrying out research and facilitating the HLF grant application process

Contributing to increasing public awareness and understanding of the research process

Supporting the development of the 'big society'

The development of networks is intended to aid groups/charities/organisations to pool resources in order to survive despite cuts to local authority funding.

The workshops will provide continued professional development for attendees from a range of academic and non-academic sectors and the web-based resources will allow dissemination outside the regional location.

Policy makers such Arts Council England will be involved to enable the work to feed in to the development of cultural policy


10 25 50
Description Greater understanding of the process of co-production - ownership by the community.

Community group supported by professionals
Exploitation Route Being used by local museum services
Sectors Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

Description Findings were used to create a series of exhibitions - by community partners in NE England. The nature of community engagement was of great interest to local museums who saw it as a cost effective way of generating exhibitions that were embedded with the local community.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

Description Follow-up fund
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2013 
End 02/2014
Description Support for community groups wishing to apply for HLF 'All Our Stories grants'. 
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 3 seminars resulted in improved applications for HLF grants

Greater understanding of research methods amongst community groups
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012