Cultural heritage and archaeology are drivers for Creative Economies and UNESCO’s 1972 Convention Guidelines recognises that their protection contributes to sustainable development. UNESCO published ‘Creative Economy’ in 2013, highlighting heritage’s role as a local development driver.
Despite broad agreement that engaging with cultural and natural heritage can offer tangible economic, educational, health and well-being benefits, there is no agreed or shared approach to the design, collection, analysis and sharing of the social and economic impacts of cultural and natural heritage in County Durham. Heritage organisations and site managers are sometimes obliged to meet the monitoring requirements of individual funders, but this has resulted in a regional mosaic of partial, often inaccessible, evidence with a lack of uniformity, standards, or long-term data.
This project aims to scope, design and disseminate an agreed regional approach for the collection, analysis and sharing of the social and economic impacts of cultural and natural heritage across County Durham.
In the scoping phase we:
In Phase 1 of this project, we conducted a series of one-to-one scoping interviews and working groups with heritage and culture organisations across County Durham to understand existing methods for recognising and recording impact. We also looked at what organisations would like to record, and what they would need to be able to do this. One of the main issues cited was a lack of a stable and inclusive framework. As such, we introduced the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a potential framework for recording and reporting impacts.
In Phase 2 of this project, we aim to further develop the strategies and methodologies utilised in interviews and working groups by: