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The University of Liverpool is leading a study that will explore how universities across the North of England can work more closely with the arts and humanities to generate growth and address a diverse range of research questions.
The N8 Research Partnership, a collaboration of the eight most research-intensive universities in the North (Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York), has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to carry out a pilot study to identify ways in which academics, practitioners in the arts and humanities and local authorities can collaborate to stimulate reinvention and influence economic growth across the North.
New thinking from the North
As part of the project, called ‘New thinking from the North’, the University and its N8 partners will hold a series of workshops addressing four key themes.
Digital North will look at how digital is being used to create and sustain culture, identity and community in the North; Heritage North will look at the heritage economy in the North and how heritage-based regeneration affects communities; Sustainable North will look at how the economic, social and environmental development of the North are connected and how they can be made sustainable and resilient and; Imaginative North will look at how the imagination is being used to influence social and cultural development in the North.
Professor Dinah Birch, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Knowledge Exchange, who is co-ordinating the project on behalf of the N8 partnership, said: “This is the first time that the N8 Research Partnership has engaged with the arts and humanities research community.
“The cities represented by the N8 university partners include several of the giants of the Industrial Age. These cities have a history of self-reinvention; and have dynamic economies and vibrant arts scenes. Culture can fuel the process of reinvention, helping people to adapt to change and generate ideas for sustainable and fair models of development – and these workshops will explore how this can be achieved.
“I am delighted that Liverpool has been able to lead this successful bid to the AHRC, which represents a fresh opportunity to collaborate on a range of themes within this diverse research area.”
The study will build on the N8’s existing partnerships with local authorities and local enterprise partnerships and will investigate opportunities for creating employment through start-up businesses and supporting economic development at a community level.
Professor Mark Llewellyn, Director of Research at the AHRC, commented:
“The N8’s plan to extend their collaborations to include the arts and humanities is an exciting development. The AHRC is pleased to be able to support activities that will stimulate new ways of bringing arts and humanities researchers together across the north of England to think about heritage, digital cultures and creativity. In developing the N8’s successful experience engaging researchers and partners across sectors, academics in the arts and humanities will be able to challenge and debate their own role in regional cultures, communities, growth and regeneration.”
The outcomes of the research will be presented as a policy report for local authorities which is expected to be published in 2014.
For more information contact John Spafford, Business Gateway.
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