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Scoping Culture and Heritage Capital study launches with research funding call

Two people walking in opposite directions past a white wall with framed photography as part of an exhibition. The shot is slightly blurred.
  • Written byCat Cooper
  • Published date 13 October 2022
Two people walking in opposite directions past a white wall with framed photography as part of an exhibition. The shot is slightly blurred.
MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, London College of Communication MA Show. Photo by Lewis Bush.

A report scoping how the value of arts, culture and heritage can be articulated and measured through the use of a capitals model publishes today on the government’s Culture and Heritage Capital (CHC) portal. The Scoping Culture and Heritage Capital Report is accompanied by a funding call for new research informed by the project’s recommendations.

The study was commissioned jointly in November 2021 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), to steer a research initiative to guide decision-making on policy and funding in the culture and heritage sectors and overcome gaps in the current evidence base. Looking beyond market value or present condition of a culture or heritage asset, a capitals model accounts for the stream of future benefits, including market and non-market, with recognition of the future embedded in the valuation process.

Scoping Culture and Heritage Capital was led by Dr Patrycja Kaszynska, Senior Research Fellow at UAL, in partnership with cultural sector partners and policy makers, and collaborating with a team of researchers spanning arts and humanities, heritage science and economics: Dr Sadie Watson and Dr Emma Dwyer from Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA); Prof Diane Coyle, University of Cambridge; Prof Patrizia Riganti and Dr Yang Wang University of Glasgow, Dr Ricky Lawton, Simetrica-Jacobs and Dr Mafalda Dâmaso (UAL).

The report sets out key considerations in the development and implementation of a CHC model and recommendations for ongoing research, refinement of methods and capacity and capability building across disciplines and sectors.  The recommendations inform the funding call issued by the AHRC and DCMS to support more work to establish the CHC agenda.

The project recognises the complexity and importance of valuing the arts, culture and heritage, contributing to building a collaborative foundation for making the value of arts, culture and heritage more visible across different sectors and disciplines. The long-term aim of the report and wider CHC programme is to make the value of arts, culture and heritage an integral part of the UK’s capital wealth accounts, essential to understanding prosperity and wellbeing, now and in the future.

The AHRC DCMS Research and Cultural Heritage Capital Call is inviting applications for interdisciplinary projects which will play a major role in developing and realising the DCMS Culture and Heritage Capital Programme. The research opportunity has been separated into several strands, each comprising a distinct research question. For more details on how to apply for the fund, please see UKRI’s website.

Get the Scoping Culture and Heritage Capital report

HTML version - gov.uk website

Web res PDF [2.86MB]

High res PDF [6.82MB]

The importance of arts, culture and heritage in enriching our lives and improving our wellbeing feels evident; but to develop and change policy which directs funding to help these sectors to thrive, we need to develop methods to assess their value and economic impact. This study provides a robust evidence base on which we can build a more resilient, sustainable and prosperous cultural sector in the future.

— Professor Christopher Smith, Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council
The starting point for this study was that there is no consistent approach to valuing cultural assets that is compatible with other methods used by government, inclusive of multiple perspectives and sensitive to the considerations of sustainability and intergenerational fairness. The CHC model provides a good way forward, provided it is developed through inter-disciplinary collaboration involving arts and humanities, heritage science, economics and other relevant fields, as well as the cultural sector and policy makers. We welcome the funding call and commitment from the AHRC and DCMS to support this agenda.

— Dr Patrycja Kaszynska, Senior Research Fellow at UAL

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