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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

N8 AHRC workshop: Heritage North

9th July 2013, 09:30 to 16:00, College of St Hild and St Bede, Durham

Heritage-led regeneration initiatives have been a defining feature of the last 25 years across the North of England, representing an attempt to fuse economic development and cultural identity. Yet the relationship between remembering, understanding and marketing the past and the development of sustainability in the region is still open for question. This workshop will tease open questions of the implications of the double logic of heritage: bringing in new businesses and tourists and supporting local identity and place shaping.

The workshop will do this by asking:

 What are the tensions of, and opportunities for, developing heritage co-produced with local communities and attracting tourists?

What are the effects - positive and unintended - of the heritage economy in the North?

How does using 'heritage' for regeneration affect the identities of the communities it claims to present? How might a sustainable heritage economy be developed in the North and beyond?

 In doing this we will draw on substantial research densities within N8 universities (Durham, Newcastle, York, Leeds, Sheffield, Lancaster, Manchester Liverpool), and we will specifically aim to draw in and build on the emerging understanding of heritage and the digital and heritage in broader debates of cultural participation emerging from large RCUK funded projects led by N8 researchers.

 The day will open with presentations from Dr Ian Lyne (Arts and Humanities Research Council), and close with a session on the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition in Durham, with a visit to the exhibition for delegates. There will be provocations and break-out sessions on the topic of ‘How should decisions about heritage be made?’, and workshops on the following themes:


  • Connected Communities Co-Design Development
  • Performing the Past
  • How Musical Heritage is Transmitted
  • Community Heritage; Archaeology in the Community
  • Running a World Heritage Site; Digital Archives and Cultural Heritage
  • Collaboration with Museums and Galleries

This event is free to attend for researchers and practitioners, and will take place at the College of St Hild and Bede, Durham DH1 1SZ, beginning at 9.30. To register, please contact

 Heritage North is the first in a series of four themed workshops designed to bring together researchers and practitioners in the North for establishing future partnership and collaborative activities. This event will be followed by Digital North (Sheffield, 19th September), Sustainable North (Manchester, 30th October), Imaginative North (Lancaster, 21st November).

Contact for more information about this event.