The British government is set to launch an extensive study into the societal benefits of culture and heritage. The study is set to not only measure the benefits of access, exposure and the added benefits to our identity, it also sets out to produce a standardised approach to the measurement of such benefits.
The study was launched by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It is yet unknown when results are to be expected.
This type of research is not new. While the benefits of heritage to society are palpable to most, the scientific data to back it up are crucial in creating policies for preservation and decision making in the cultural sector. The results may also help in gaining leverage for improving accessibility to museums, cultural venues and historical sites.
Demonstrating cultural value
Until now the contribution of culture and heritage to e.g. education, well-being and strengthening local identity was difficult to measure since there were no good research methods available. UK’s Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage was pleased with the news: ”It will help us to better quantify the value and benefit that important local institutions bring and will help us to protect them for future generations.”