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Scoping Culture and Heritage Capital research

People in colourful costumes lined up on the interior steps of the British Museum, shot from below upwards
People in colourful costumes lined up on the interior steps of the British Museum, shot from below upwards
Imaginary characters costumes, Manga theme show at British Museum Friday Lates © Alastair Fyfe

Scoping study on measuring the value of the UK’s culture and heritage to the public.

Funding Period: November 2021 – May 2022
Co-funded by: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)

Project summary

This project responds to the ambition set by the DCMS Culture and Heritage Capital (CHC) Programme to develop a systematic approach through which culture and heritage can be valued. Delivered by a multidisciplinary team committed to inter- and transdisciplinary ways of working, this scoping study supports the articulation of a comprehensive and integrated set of evidence and guidance for the purpose of valuing culture and heritage assets in the context of decision making.

The study will produce a report published on DCMS’s Culture and Heritage Capital portal outlining the work and methodology and presenting an operational agenda to support the implementation of the CHC framework, including a priority list of research areas to be further explored.

Project team

  • Principal investigator: Dr Patrycja Kaszynska, Senior Research Fellow, UAL Social Design Institute
  • Researcher: Dr Mafalda Dâmaso, UAL
  • Co-investigator: Professor Patrizia Riganti, University of Glasgow
  • Researcher: Dr Yang Wang, University of Glasgow
  • Co-investigator: Professor Diane Coyle CBE FAcSS, University of Cambridge
  • Co-investigator: Dr Sadie Watson, Museum of London Archaeology
  • Co-investigator: Dr Emma Dwyer FSA MCIfA, Museum of London Archaeology
  • Researcher: Dr Lara Gonzalez-Carretero, Museum of London Archaeology
  • Researcher: Dr Rebecca Reynolds, Museum of London Archaeology
  • Consultancy: Dr Ricky Lawton, consultancy Simetrica-Jacobs

Aims and objectives

The project aims to:

  • Analyse theoretical developments concerning the concept of cultural capital and flesh out the CHC framework with a more comprehensive and research-grounded understanding of the typologies of the assets, flows of services, and associated cultural and economic values.
  • Lay the ground for the development of evaluation guidance operationalising the CHC framework in government decision-making.
  • Identify the main conceptual and methodological challenges underpinning the current research gaps in the field of the economic valuation of cultural capital, including knowledge gaps in relation to the understanding of culture and heritage stocks and the related flows of services, as well as the limitations of current techniques.
  • Provide a priority list of research areas to be targeted in future funding calls and recommendations for other forms of research-led inquiry to appropriately build the research and evidence base needed to support policy making in relation to the CHC framework.

Approach

The team shares the belief that the economic valuation of cultural capital requires addressing major research issues belonging to diverse disciplines. Every single team member has an interdisciplinary and/or transdisciplinary experience/background and is committed to exploring the boundaries of disciplinary expertise at the cross-sections of economics, heritage studies and cultural studies.

This framework translates into a hub and spokes model. The hub is the inter- and transdisciplinary platform and the gravitational centre of the project. Its key concern is the identification of the current methodological and theoretical research gaps. The spokes provide an organ of delivery for the hub. Each involves a representative from all three disciplinary areas but also has an identified leader who is best placed to tackle the specific objective delivered. Moreover, each is co-led by PI Kaszynska to ensure that there is a feedback loop between the hub and the spokes.

Partners

Advisory group

  • Prof Jen Snowball, Professor of Economics at RU, South Africa, Chief Research Strategist, the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO)
  • Prof Gillian Doyle, Professor of Media Economics and Director of the Centre for Cultural Policy Research (CCPR), University of Glasgow
  • Prof Trine Bille, Professor in Cultural Economics, Policy and Entrepreneurship,Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School (CBS),Denmark; President, the Association for Cultural Economics International of ACEI
  • Hasan Bakhshi, Director, Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, NESTA
  • Dr Silvia Ferrini, Associate professor,University of Siena, Italy, Senior Research Fellow,University of East Anglia, Member,Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment and European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
  • Prof Luigi Fusco Girard, Institute for Research on Innovation and Services for Development (ISCEC)
  • Prof Siân Jones, Professor of Heritage,Director of the Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy,University of Stirling
  • Prof Helen Chatterjee, Professor of Biology in the Division of Biosciences, School of Life and Medical Sciences at UCL and Head of Research and Teaching in UCL Culture,University of London
  • Dr Laura Basell, Associate Professor in Archaeology, University of Leicester, Steering Group Member, University Archaeology UK
  • Dr Paul Burtenshaw, independent specialist in cultural heritage