Social & Economic Research
English Heritage, along with organisations represented on the UK Historic Research Group, and others undertake research into social and economic aspects of the historic environment. Some of this research may be summarised in Heritage Counts and reports appear on the Heritage Counts website. The purpose of this research activity is to inform debates about the value and needs of the historic environment, and may be used to support policy and programme appraisals.
Valuation of the Historic Environment
This study was commissioned by English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and Department for Transport. The research report contains a detailed literature review and assesses the scope for using results of valuation studies in the appraisal and assessment of heritage-related projects and programmes. Three reports are available, in hard copy, and from the EH website, and the findings are summarised in an article in Progress in Planning (vol 69 part 4, 2008)
The Heritage Dividend Methodology
The Heritage Dividend Methodology measuring the impact of heritage projects builds on previous experience with measuring the impact of heritage expenditure on regeneration in cities, towns and village across England. The methodology describes various methods for capturing the range of positive (and negative) spin-offs. The methodology also takes into account the general guidance concerning assessment of regeneration type projects as recommended by CLG. As well as increasing the scope of evaluation of heritage expenditure, the methodology recognises that projects with small budgets would not justify a full scale assessment. There is no one size fits all evaluation. The Heritage Dividend Methodology: Measuring the impact of heritage projects is available as hard copy or as pdf from the navigation on the right hand side. A one page summary of the methodology is also available to download.
The Heritage Dividend methodology has been applied to measure the economic and social impacts of grants to owners to undertake repair of historic farm buildings in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales. The research is based on detailed surveys of grant recipients and tracing through of impacts on the local area.
The Investment performance of listed offices
English Heritage, the Investment Property Forum and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors commissioned a regular survey of the investment performance of listed office buildings. Over the long term, returns from listed offices have tended to follow the same market cycle as unlisted offices with simultaneous peaks and troughs. Differences in the volatility of returns between the two types have been minimal, indicating similar levels of risk. The latest report is The investment performance of listed offices (EH, IPF, RICS 2006)
Taking Part Survey
The Taking Part project collects data on participation in culture and sports activities by adults and children living in England. It is a valuable and detailed source of data about different aspects of individuals participation in the historic environment. Reports and statistical releases are on the DCMS website at , and the detailed database is available on the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex.
Research using data from the Taking Part survey shows that adult attendance at heritage sites is related to attendance as a child, ethnicity, education, vehicle ownership and class. A report of the research, Attending Heritage Sites, is on the English Heritage website.
A new development in social and economic research is the development of a joint research programme led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport with English Heritage, Arts Council England, Museums Libraries and Archives Council, Sport England and the Regional Cultural Consortia. The working title for this project is Understanding the Drivers of and the Value and Benefits Afforded by Engagement in Culture and Sport. An is on the DCMS website.