The power of arts and heritage to deliver regional investment

A seminar organised by the Institute for Local Governance. took 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 took 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 we asked,  how can this happen with so many ‘competing’ demands?

Professor Jonathan Blackie, Trustee and Chair, Alnwick Garden and Visiting Professor Northumbria University: introduced and chaired the seminar

Speakers at the event on the 27th April 2018 included (power point presentations are available to download under each speaker’s presentation title:

  • Professor Tom Mordue, The Norman Richardson Professor of Tourism, Northumbria University: on the impact of heritage and tourism on regional economic prospects. Tom Mordue
  • Abigail Pogson, Managing Director, Sage Gateshead: on the hosting of major regional events to highlight the region’s strengths. Abigail Pogson
  • 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. Jane Robinson
  • 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. Mick Wilkes

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.