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Funding announced for new collaborative Centre for Cultural Value

Date: 09/08/2018

The Arts and Humanities Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, has announced new funding for the creation of a collaborative Centre for Cultural Value, the first of its kind in the UK.

The term ‘cultural value’ includes all the societal benefits that arts and culture can bring including impact on the economy, on communities and cities, and impact on health and wellbeing.

The aim of the Centre for Cultural Value will be to advance understanding of the value of arts and culture in the UK and abroad. It will present how this value is being captured and encourage organisations to act on that knowledge. As such, the Centre will function as a custodian and communicator of cultural value in all its guises; it will synthesise existing research and bring together organisations and sectors with an interest in using evidence about cultural value in their work.

The Centre will be funded jointly by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) and Arts Council England, with a major investment of around £2.5 million over five years.

The establishment of the Centre for Cultural Value follows a wide ranging consultation and the conclusions from a newly published report, ‘The Cultural Value Scoping project (PDF, 357KB)’. The project involved consultations with 200 hundred people from the arts and culture sector, funding organisations, the voluntary sector, academia, and policy; it identified that one of the biggest and most pressing challenges in understanding cultural value is creating communities of interest and practice across these sectors. As a result, the report recommends that a new entity - a Collaborative Centre for Cultural Value - is set up.

Jane Steele, Director, Evidence and Learning, Paul Hamlyn Foundation says, ‘The collaborative approach is a key feature of the proposed centre. It will help to foster networks, communities of interest and greater mutual understanding between people working in different sectors, art forms and academic disciplines. It will develop a programme of events and conversations, encouraging, for example, arts and cultural practitioners to work with academic and non-academic researchers and evaluators to use evidence in their practice and to develop new approaches to evaluation and organisational learning.’

The Centre for Cultural Value and the scoping report both build upon a large body of research undertaken through the AHRC’s Cultural Value Project and accompanying 2016 report, ‘Understanding the Value of Arts and Culture’ which provides the UK’s most in-depth attempt to understand the difference made by arts and culture.

The AHRC’s Head of Creative Arts and Digital Humanities, Paul Meller says, ‘The Cultural Value Project provided a fantastic evidence base for why the arts and culture matter, and how we capture the effects that they have. This collaboration between AHRC, PHF and the Arts Council to establish a new Centre provides an exciting opportunity to take forward that important work.’

Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England says, ‘Establishing a Centre for Cultural Value offers a new opportunity to increase our understanding of the contribution of arts and culture on life in the UK. The Centre will help us to examine the impact of artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries on individuals, communities and society as a whole.’

More details on the Centre for Cultural Value can be found via this pre-call funding announcement. Full details of the funding call Centre for Cultural Value will be published on the AHRC website in September 2018. The deadline for applications is expected to be in November 2018.

Find out more about the 2016 Cultural Value Report by watching this short animation.


Notes to editor

The Arts and Humanities Research Council funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: archaeology, area studies, the creative and performing arts, design, digital content, heritage, history, languages, philosophy and much more. This financial year we will spend approximately £98 million on research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides economic, social and cultural benefits to the UK, but contributes to the culture and welfare of societies around the globe.

For media enquiries please contact the Joe Lewis from the AHRC Communications Team on 01793 41 60 21 or email: joe.lewis@ahrc.ukri.org

The AHRC is part of UK Research and Innovation, a new body that works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England.

You can find out more information via ahrc.ukri.org or following us on Twitter at @ahrcpress, on Facebook at @artsandhumanitiesresearchcouncil, or Instagram at @ahrcpress.

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk

For media enquiries please contact Nathan Dean Nathan.Dean@artscouncil.org.uk

Paul Hamlyn Foundation was established by Paul Hamlyn in 1987. Upon his death in 2001, he left most of his estate to the Foundation, creating one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK. Our mission is to help people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, so that they can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives. We have a particular interest in supporting young people and a strong belief in the importance of the arts, and social justice is the golden thread that links all our work.www.phf.org.uk

For media enquiries please contact Faiza Khan fkhan@phf.org.uk

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