Researchers to investigate Bedfordshire’s arts and culture sector

Wed 24 November, 2021
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Academics from the University of Bedfordshire have been commissioned by Central Bedfordshire Council to conduct research into the area’s arts and culture sector.

The key purpose of the study is to review the current arts, culture and heritage provision found across Central Bedfordshire, and to help identify the impact of Covid-19 on the sector.

The research will be conducted by collating views and experiences of those working in the sector between now and the end of December 2021. By collecting data through interviews and surveys from a range of organisations, stakeholders and providers of arts, culture, education, nature and heritage sectors, it’s hoped the findings will help Central Bedfordshire Council to develop future approaches to and support available for home-grown arts, culture and heritage. 

Dr Tamara Ashley – Senior Lecturer in Dance and Course Co-ordinator for Dance Performance & Choreography MA – is the lead investigator of the ‘Future of Arts & Culture’ research for Central Bedfordshire Council.

Dr Ashley hopes that a wide variety of participants will come forward and take part in the study. She said: “This research will play an important part in informing the future of arts and culture development in Central Bedfordshire. I hope that we can reach as many interested people as possible to gather a broad and diverse range of views and knowledge on the arts sector.”

Professor Andrew Church, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, is delighted that the University of Bedfordshire is involved in such a vital community study. He commented: “Research can play such an important role in influencing the support which community leaders can offer their people, and is particularly vital for industries such as the creative arts – a specialism that has been so severely impacted by the pandemic.

“I hope our academic findings enable Central Bedfordshire Council to offer more tailored support to help practitioners adapt to their post-Covid environment and thrive once more.”

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services, hopes the University’s findings will help shape how the council can improve its cultural and strategic offering for the region.

He said: “The research will review the current provision and the impact of Covid-19 in Central Bedfordshire. By consulting with residents, cultural groups, partners and individuals involved in the arts, culture, education, nature and heritage sectors, it will give us an opportunity to work more inclusively as we refresh plans and ambitions going forward.”

Any individuals or relevant businesses interested in taking part can contact Dr Tamara Ashley from the University by email.

Alternatively, participants can complete the ‘Future of Arts & Culture’ survey online.

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