Daily Archives: 28th November 2017

The Role of Arts and Heritage in Social and Economic Regeneration

A seminar organised by the Institute for Local Governance which will take place at the Dolphin Centre, Darlington, 19th January 2018 from 9.30 – 1.00

Arts and heritage initiatives, it is often claimed, can make a substantive contribution to social and economic regeneration in addition to their cultural contribution. In bald economic terms, assessing the value of such interventions is not so hard to do. The economic value of the direct local spend on services or employees can be measured, together with estimates of multiplier effects on other activities. But social impact is harder to examine. There are ‘tool kits’ available to assess social impact in a more or less standardised way. But the likelihood is that the contribution has many dimensions and complex and controversial judgements on what constitutes impact.

The aim of this seminar is to get beneath the surface of these issues by exploring interactions between local political and strategic investment in the arts and heritage and the development of tangible, sustainable and well used projects and programmes which can contribute to social, cultural, environmental and economic wellbeing.The purpose of the seminar is therefore not merely to showcase good work, but to explore the challenges which have been overcome in garnering economic and political support for such interventions. It also explores the complexities surrounding funding and delivery of new and innovative projects and energising communities to use them.

The seminar is the first of two seminars on this topic. The second seminar will be held on Tyneside in the spring, entitled “The Power of Arts and Heritage to attract Regional Investment”. This follow-up seminar will take forward the issues by bringing together speakers from policy and practice perspectives in the north of the region to debate the principle that ‘nothing stands still’ and that the impetus for political, financial and community investment must be continually nurtured. This is easily said, but how can this happen with so many ‘competing’ demands?

Speakers at the Darlington event on the 19 January 2018 include:

  • Sharon Paterson, Associate Director, Mima (Culture and Engagement), Teesside University: will chair and provide a contextual introduction to the seminar.
  • Linda Tuttiett, Head of Culture and Tourism, Tees Valley Combined Authority: on the accumulated impact of arts and culture on the future social and economic wellbeing of Tees Valley.
  • James Beighton, Director, Tees Valley Arts: on the role of the arts in the diverse communities of Tees Valley.
  • Liz Fisher, Director of Engagement, Auckland Castle Trust: on the social objectives of a major arts and heritage investment in Wear Valley.
  • Lynda Winstanley, Director, Hippodrome Theatre, Darlington: on the contribution of theatre to the economic, social and cultural fabric of the region.

Recent seminars in our programme have included: Welfare Reform and Child Poverty in the North East; The Role of Emergency Services in partnership with the Third Sector; Revitalising Coastal Communities; Graduate Retention. Forthcoming events: Collaboration between Health, Local Government and the Third Sector; Who Runs the North East Now?; The Role of Arts and Heritage in Attracting Local and Regional Investment.

This seminar is free to attend, but places are limited and they tend to book up quickly, so please register your attendance via: Janet Atkinson, Institute for Local Governance, Durham University janet.atkinson@durham.ac.uk.