Assessing the Value of Community-Generated Historic Environment Research

Author(s): Rob Hedge, Aisling Nash

The specific aims of this project were to assess: • The amount of historic environment research being undertaken by community groups • The potential scholarly value that this research could offer to enhance research resources, in particular those used to support the planning system. The communal and social value of community group heritage research is well recognised and supported by organisations such as the Council for British Archaeology - underpinned by its mission statement "Archaeology for All". The impact of heritage on individuals and communities is highlighted in Heritage Counts 2014 and includes findings from the 2013 review of the value and benefits of heritage by the Heritage Lottery Fund. We understand and support the social benefits that this brings to communities. Beyond the social benefit, however, this project focuses on assessing the added scholarly or research value of community-generated research, and the potential benefits to research resources, in particular Research Frameworks. This project is not about assessing the quality of people's research. Rather, it is about the potential value of their work to the resources that are used by the historic environment sector to determine priorities and inform decisions on planning issues, research priorities and strategies for safeguarding heritage assets.

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