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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

Understanding Durham World Heritage Site Today: Results of initial research on the social and economic role of the site for Durham communities

20th June 2018, 17:00 to 19:30, Palace Green Library Learning Centre, Ms Anouk Lafortune-Bernard

Durham’s World Heritage Site, including the Cathedral, Castle and buildings and space in-between, has been at the centre of Durham’s political, social, religious and economic life for nearly 1000 years. The relationship between the site and different communities and population groups within the city and the county has changed over the centuries, as buildings and spaces acquired new or different functions and communities adapted to changing social, cultural, economic and political contexts and to new developments at the site.

This event aims to present and discuss the results of a short pilot study conducted between April and June 2018 in Durham to collect views from different local groups in Durham on the World Heritage Site. Using focus groups, organised in collaboration with existing local groups and organisations, the study started to collect personal stories and the different views on the importance of the site, its uses today, but also concerns and expectations of different local groups linked to future plans and developments at or near the World Heritage Site. This research represents an initial step towards developing an approach for evaluating and monitoring the social and economic impact of Durham World Heritage Site on local residents and communities within Durham City and the County. It builds on the outcomes of the workshop ‘Mind the Gap: addressing the evidence-gap in evaluating the social and economic contribution of heritage sites’ (19th March 2018) funded by IMEMS and the Department of Archaeology (Research Dialogues) and organised in collaboration with Durham’s UNESCO Chair.

The event will start with a 45mn presentation on the results of the pilot study and will be followed by a 45mn Q&A and discussion session with the audience. The event ends at 6.30pm and is followed by a wine reception which will finish just before 7.30pm.

Entry is free, but please note that places for this event will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. To book your place click here.

Contact for more information about this event.