Who are we?
- The UK Heritage Research Group (UKHRG) was established to bring together organisations from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales involved in commissioning policy research about the heritage sector. The group was formally known as the UK Historic Environment Research Group (UKHERG), but expanded its scope, membership and aims in 2008 to take in a broader range of heritage and a wider focus on policy research. The Group has been co-ordinated by the Research & Evaluation team at the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the e-resources are co-ordinated by Dr Ian Baxter at University Campus Suffolk. The Group has evolved over the past decade, and is currently evolving again to review its value and use for the sector in a time of reduced resources for research commissioning. Having been somewhat dormant between 2010-2012, it is hoped to reinvigorate it during 2013.
What is our aim?
- The aim of the group is to enable different organisations and individuals in the heritage sector to make the most of the available policy research taking place in the UK. This encompasses both policy research undertaken within the heritage sector and which is undertaken outside the sector that affects heritage.
What are we interested in?
- Policy is any ‘plan of action’ intended to fulfil a clear aim or aims. Research helps us to make decisions about that plan. Policy research provides the evidence that enables policy makers – in the public, private and voluntary sectors – to make better decisions on social, economic and environmental issues. It does not cover technical research (e.g. into repair techniques or materials) although it may draw upon the results of such work, to both develop policy choices and to understand how policy can be implemented. Policy research is also distinct from purely academic research, in that it is intended to inform specific policy choices.
- A full list of policy issues of interest to UKHRG members would be varied and long but some current examples include: –
- Heritage participation
- Visits and the visitor experience at heritage sites
- Education, learning and heritage
- Management of heritage sites
- The heritage workforce, skills and training
- The role of heritage in economic and social regeneration
- Heritage and climate change policy
- The links between heritage and well-being / quality-of-life
- The historic environment’s role in ‘place-making’
- We define heritage broadly, as anything from the past which we value and wish to hand on to future generations; it encompasses land and countryside, biodiversity, buildings, monuments, archaeology and collections and includes intangible heritage such as reminiscence, traditions and language.
What do we do?
- UKHRG members share the results of policy research by or affecting the heritage sector, and their own experience in undertaking policy research.
- We seek to promote results of heritage research beyond our immediate sector, for the many important social, economic and environmental policy issues where it has relevance.
- We also aim to promote the value of heritage research within the relevant government research councils.
What is on this blog?
For many years the UKHRG e-update has been distributed via the JISCmail national academic mailing list service. The list homepage can be found here: http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/ukhrg
The blog takes up the mantle of the email circulation to allow for more immediate and flexible communication of useful research and evaluation links and information. It is hooked in to an associated twitter feed.
A legacy website
The HLF contact is Gareth Maeer (Head of Research & UCS Visiting Fellow); the UCS contact and blog editor is Dr Ian Baxter (Head of Division of Tourism, Heritage & Events, UCS Business School).