Category Archives: Research News

The power of arts and heritage to deliver regional investment

A seminar organised by the Institute for Local Governance. It will take place at Mea House, Ellison Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8XS 27th April 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.

The Institute for Local Governance has organised two seminars to debate the issues. The first well received event, held in Darlington in January, explored interactions between local political and strategic investment in the arts and heritage and the associated management challenges.

Specifically it addressed and the development of tangible, sustainable and well used projects and programmes which can contribute to social, cultural, environmental and economic wellbeing.

Speakers at the first seminar included: Linda Tuttiett, Head of Culture and Tourism, Tees Valley Combined Authority; James Beighton, Director, Tees Valley Arts; Liz Fisher, Director of Engagement, Auckland Castle Trust; and Lynda Winstanley, Director, Hippodrome Theatre, Darlington.

This second seminar takes forward the issues by bringing together speakers from research, policy and practice perspectives in the north of the region to debate the principal 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?

Professor Jonathan Blackie, Trustee and Chair, Alnwick Garden and Visiting Professor Northumbria University: will introduce and chair the seminar

Speakers at the event on the 27th April 2018 include:

  • Professor Tom Mordue, The Norman Richardson Professor of Tourism, Northumbria University: on the impact of heritage and tourism on regional economic prospects.
  • Abigail Pogson, Managing Director, Sage Gateshead: on the hosting of major regional events to highlight the region’s strengths.
  • Jane Robinson, Chief Operating Officer, Durham University: on the interaction between the University and World Heritage Site to promote a strong image of the region.
  • Mick Wilkes, Culture Change Lead, Newcastle City Council (seconded from the National Trust): on sustaining Newcastle upon Tyne’s estate of heritage parks and gardens in a period of austerity.

The Institute for Local Governance is a North East research and knowledge exchange partnership established in 2009 comprising the North East region’s university researchers, local authorities, police and fire and rescue services.

Further information about the content of the event can be obtained by contacting: – or

How to work effectively with the third sector

A discussion paper for public sector organisations

by Tony Chapman, John Mawson, Fred Robinson and Jonathan Wistow, Published by Institute for Local Governance, 9th March 2018.

Public-sector bodies tend to share common values and approaches to policy, procedure and practice which shape ideas about what is ‘possible’ and ‘desirable’ when thinking about working with other sectors. These values and practices stem largely from the fact that they are large, complex, formal and publicly accountable organisations. Large organisations, by definition, have a complex division of labour and principles of professionalism are underpinned by shared values surrounding expertise and specialisation.

As hierarchical and bureaucratic entities there are strong imperatives to ensure that practice is, as far as possible, continuous and consistent, and that services provided are apportioned fairly and are of equivalent quality or value. Similarly, ways of rectifying complaints or correcting internal failures are embedded in organisational culture, structure and practice.

It is not, therefore, surprising that people who work in public-sector organisations such as local authorities or health organisations tend to internalise and take for granted such values and, in turn, often expect that their approaches to practice should be understood, valued and complied with when working with people in third sector organisations

The problem is that most TSOs are not large, formal complex organisations. Often they do not necessarily share the values that underpin the structures and functions of public sector organisations. And many people in the third sector may feel that their organisations came into existence to tackle issues which had been ignored, neglected or even caused by the failure of big public-sector bodies.

Commitment to specific issues and causes often overrides ‘generalised’ objectives in the third sector. This is not a flaw in sector dynamics. Instead it merely reflects the strong sense of independence held by TSOs and their close focus on their mission. These generalisations about differences in values may not be immediately obvious in inter-sector interactions – and most often interactions are quite good. But they can, all too readily, come to the surface quickly when problems occur.

In our report we say that there are ten ways that public sector organisations need to ‘think again’ about how to work with the third sector. And we have a good deal more to say about ‘what not to do’.

What we say isn’t that hard to do – and much of it people will recognise in their current practices. But keeping things simple isn’t easy. And it’s a big complicated issue that doesn’t lend itself to soundbites – but we hope that for those who make the journey through the ideas we present – it might help to make relationships better for all concerned.

The report can be downloaded here: ILG How to work effectively with the third sector discussion paper March 2019.



The contribution of business to the local third sector

IPPR North published a report today on the contribution business makes to the local third sector based on the longstanding Third Sector Trends study.  The report, written by Professor Tony Chapman (St Chad’s College, Durham University) and Jack Hunter (IPPR North),  shows that:

  • Businesses in the North of England make a “significant contribution” of £1.9bn to charities and other voluntary organisations.
  • Nearly 70% of third sector organisations in the North receive some form of financial support from business.
  • But the voluntary sector prefers businesses’ cash over their in-kind support.

IPPR North’s Jack Hunter said:

“Business in the North make a significant and valued contribution to the third sector, but businesses need to get much smarter in how they support charitable activity. One-off volunteering events might be easy to arrange and encourage teambuilding, but they tend to have limited value on the ground – instead charities get the most benefit from a long-term and sustained relationship with businesses.”

And as Tony Chapman said:

“Many charity and business leaders may be surprised by the volume of financial and in-kind support given on social issues such as poverty. If the contribution of business remains largely invisible, then less of it will happen than could be the case. This research opens the door for more debate on where business can make a difference at the local level.”

The report can be downloaded at this address:



Trading interactions amongst community businesses in Bradford, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough

Professor Tony Chapman and Dr Tanya Gray are starting a new project for the  Power to Change Research Institute on trading interactions amongst community businesses in Bradford, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.

The term ‘community business’ (CB) includes a range of organisations including: Companies Limited by Guarantee, Cooperatives and Community Benefit Societies, Community Interest Organisations, Community Interest Companies and Registered Charities. Some CBs have been operating for decades while others are relatively new, emerging from, for example, asset transfer programmes. While some community businesses are large, employing many staff, the majority are quite small.

Most CBs rely primarily upon trading to sustain their activity. Trading includes sales of space, self-generated services that meet the identified needs of the local community or manufactured goods, and through the delivery of services for other organisations. Because they also tend to rely on grants and in-kind support from other organisations, we need to know how that affects their approach to earning income from trading.

The principal aim of the research is to explore the extent to which community businesses build beneficial relationships with other community businesses – thereby strengthening each other’s financial situation and deepening their contribution to local economy and society.

Examples of such interactions may include opportunity signposting and appraisal, customer referral, inter-trading, sharing facilities or kit, partnership bidding for grants or contracts, skills-exchanges, media and public relations initiatives, informally sharing the burden of roles in representation on boards and committees, and so on. These interactions may produce indirect or direct financial benefit.

In the research we intend to explore the range and depth of relationships CBs establish and find out how they were initiated and became embedded over time. We also want to find out if these trading relationships are more effective in meeting ‘local needs’ and being ‘locally accountable’ than other charities or private businesses. Finally, it will be useful to find out what kinds of support CBs may need to build stronger relationships with other CBs in their locality and explore how and by whom such support be best delivered.

Knowing how and why some CBs successfully build and sustain positive working relationships with other CBs will help gauge the scope for and benefits to be gained from intensifying positive, trusting and mutually beneficial trading relationships. In disadvantaged areas, where there may be fewer private sector businesses, such interactions could produce significant economic and social benefit by retaining resources within the community.

Indirectly, CBs may benefit significantly if funders and development organisations such as Power to Change become aware of the benefits of promoting or engendering certain types of CB-to-CB interactions and thereby deepen the quality, volume and depth of positive interactions.

Communicating the benefits of CB-to-CB interactions may help to encourage more of this kind of activity – but only when we can be sure that the circumstances leading to the establishment of such relationships are identifiable, understood and replicable.

The research begins in March 2018 and will conclude in April 2019 with a series of reports and events to communicate the key messages.

Saving Silverlink Bridge

The Friends of Pelaw Wood, assisted by Durham University students, are a voluntary group working with Durham County Council in the care of Pelaw Wood on the northern bank of the River Wear.

In the heart of the Wood is Silverlink Bridge, a steel footbridge built in 1938, with a span of almost 200ft over the Pelaw Beck.  The northern abutment of the bridge, leading to Gilesgate, is onto land with former industrial use – a soft drinks factory had for many years used the site as a tip for unwanted bottles, some of which are now highly-prized and valuable.

The consequent illicit bottle-mining into the bank at high level, apart from constituting a danger to children, has led to a number of trees becoming destabilised, particularly those in close proximity to the bridge.

Attempts by Police, Council and volunteers to prevent the mining have largely failed, due to a significant section of the land having no registered ownership.

For safety of the bridge and general public it became imperative that the unregistered land be clearly delineated and that subsequently it should become vested in Durham County Council and managed by the Friends of Pelaw Wood, under the Council’s supervision.

Ian Zass-Ogilvie, a Research Fellow of Policy & Practice, is carrying this project forward on behalf of the local community.

Saving Silverlink Bridge in Durham

Working well with the voluntary sector

Sharing the responsibility: defining how public sector organisations can work effectively with the third sector. A seminar organised by the Institute for Local Governance, to be held at Teikyo University, Elvet Hill, Durham, 9th March 2018, 9.00 – 12.30

In 2015, a group of academics and senior officers in local authorities and health authorities got together to start talking about how to work more effectively with the third sector. The idea was to begin a learning journey which drew on debate and discussion about the existing evidence and draws some new insights from consultation with 40 organisations within the third sector.

The outcome of this programme of work, which was funded by the ESRC, is a new discussion paper on the 10 key findings and recommendations from the programme of work. As the report is launched on 9th March, the Institute for Local Governance is hosting a seminar to present the recommendations and to give people an opportunity to debate their value and potential impact.

Participants are invited from across a range of organisations including health organisations, local authorities, charitable foundations and third sector organisations across North East England.

The seminar will be chaired by Professor Paul Keane, Chairman, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.

The seminar will open with a brief presentation on the key findings from the work by Professors Tony Chapman and Fred Robinson, St Chad’s College, Durham University, Professor John Mawson, Director, Institute for Local Governance, and Dr Jonathan Wistow, Department of Sociology, Durham University.

Following the presentation, there will be clearly focused table debates on the principal recommendations facilitated by partners from local authorities, health organisations, charitable foundations and third sector infrastructure organisations. To close the session, there will be a panel of key stakeholders to discuss key questions raised in the table debate.

Agreed panellists include Harriet Stranks, Lloyds Bank Foundation; Rob Williamson, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland; Gillian Peel, Age UK North Yorkshire and Darlington; Sally Young, Newcastle CVS; Kirsten Francis, Northumberland County Council; and, Gordon Elliott, Durham County Council.

Attendees at the seminar will be provided with a pre-publication copy of the report to prepare for the event, together with a shorter briefing paper on the 10 key findings and recommendations.

The seminar is now fully booked

The Institute for Local Governance is a North East Research and Knowledge Exchange Partnership established in 2009 comprising the North East region’s Universities, Local Authorities, Police and Fire and Rescue Services.

Further information about the content of the event can be obtained by contacting:- or

Young People and Society Study Group

Due to industrial action, this meeting has been moved to Thursday 17th May  2018 between 1.45 and 4.00.

We have two speakers:

Professor Simon James, Department of English Studies, Durham University on Dickens’s Myths of Childhood. This presentation will consider theories of autobiographical memory in relation to literary texts by Charles Dickens. In particular, it will concern the importance to Dickens of adult mnemonic connection to childhood, and the role of the Blacking Factory in narratives of Dickens’s own development.

Professor Tony Chapman, St Chad’s College on Narratives about the successful life transitions of young people in County Durham.  The presentation will include discussion of new evidence on the provision of support to young people in County Durham by public, private and third sector organisations – asking whether the whole is worth more than the sum of the parts.

The presentations will take place in the Horsfall Room, Ramsay House, St Chad’s College, 26 North Bailey (a few doors down from the Main College St Chad’s College building).



Auckland Castle Trust Heritage Lottery Fund Project Evaluation

A remarkable regeneration project is now well underway to create a world-class visitor destination in Bishop Auckland, County Durham. At its heart is a mission to revitalise the future of the town through employment, training and educational opportunities.

As an attraction, The Auckland Project will comprise Auckland Castle, for centuries the private palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham, along with galleries, gardens, restaurants, a park, a hotel and England’s first museum exploring the history of faith in the British Isles.

Thanks to National Lottery players, The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has made a substantial grant of £11.4m to The Project to support the conservation of the Castle and the creation of the new Faith Museum, as well as associated community activities.

Professor Fred Robinson and Ian Zass-Ogilvie from St Chad’s College have now been commissioned by The Auckland Project to undertake an evaluation of this important HLF-supported work.

Fred Robinson said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to support The Auckland Project. It’s a really interesting approach to regeneration and we all hope it will make a big difference to the local economy and help revitalise the community.”

“Our role is to evaluate what’s being achieved by the Project – and look at the wider impacts too. We look forward to working closely with The Auckland Project.”

Kanji Tanimoto seminar on Corporate Social Responsibility Management in Japan

Professor Kanji Tanimoto from Waseda University, Tokyo, will be speaking on the topic of ‘The Institutionalization of Corporate Social Responsibility Management in Japan’.

The seminar will take place on Thursday 18th January from  2.00 – 3.30 p.m.  in Williams Library, St Chad’s College, Durham University, 18 North Bailey, Durham DH1 3RH.

The seminar will discuss how pressures for corporate attention to CSR have been increased in Japan for the past decade and a half. Many Japanese companies have introduced CSR management system following leading companies and conformed to institutional isomorphic pressures. However it is not an easy task to incorporate CSR into management processes in actuality. This study explores a gap between ‘expected CSR management ‘ and ‘actual conventional management’ by giving an examples from a study  of Toshiba.

If you would like to attend, please contact Professor Tony Chapman at St Chad’s College to secure a place (

Professor Tanimoto will be staying at St Chad’s College, Durham on a two week research visit as a Visiting Professorial Fellow.

Kanji Tanimoto is Professor in Business and Society at the School of Commerce, Waseda University, Japan.  He is Founder and President of an academy: Japan Forum of Business and Society, which is the first academic society in this field in Japan. He is an editorial member of several journals. He serves on the program committee of the International Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility at Humboldt University.

His research interests include the relationship between business and society, corporate social responsibility, social business and social innovation. He has published numerous books and papers.His personal website is: and email address:

Policy&Practice Annual Report 2017

It has been a busy year for us in Policy&Practice as several research projects have been completed and new ones started.

Key highlights of the year include the publication of a series of Third Sector Trends reports for Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Garfield Weston / IPPR North.

A major new study Who Runs the North East Now? was published for Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Institute for Local Government and Muckle LLP.

A new book was also published by the Commonwealth Secretariat on the Contribution of Sport to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

We’re doing new projects for Lloyds Bank Foundation, Big Lottery Fund, Durham County Council and the Economic and Social Research Council  all with reports out next year.

Read all about it in our Annual Report by clicking here: Policy&Practice Annual Report 2017