Creative and heritage industries are a vibrant sector of the UK economy and a well-established area of research strength and growth potential at De Montfort University (DMU). This overarching research theme promotes the university’s strengths in different creative and heritage areas and links with Leicester’s and the UK’s creative and heritage performance. The theme reflects existing areas of excellence across arts, humanities, design, and media, plus new capabilities arising from developments in creative technologies, the enhanced digitalisation of society, and the use of creative leadership and technologies in tackling societal challenges.
The creative industries encompass activities which have as their main objective the production or reproduction, promotion, distribution or commercialisation of goods, services and activities derived from cultural, artistic or heritage origins. Growing five times faster than the national economy, the UK’s creative industries will be an important source of post-Covid growth and restructuring, while cultural heritage will be critical in connecting and making sense of people and place.
The Covid-19 pandemic has given a greater urgency to the creative economy. Many cultural events were scaled back and lost conventional sources of in-person income. Finding new ways for the arts to continue through new platforms and business models will require new research effort over the coming years. Macro concerns around environmental sustainability, health, and wellbeing bring additional societal needs that require creative leadership and design.
The cross-cutting priorities for the Creative and Heritage Industries theme at DMU are:
- Practice and enterprise, which recognises DMU’s excellence in practice research and recreative methods
- Inclusion and empowerment in creative and heritage industries, which underpins DMU’s strategic goal as an empowering university
- Creative performance and creative design, which reflects DMU’s national leadership in areas of arts, design, media and heritage, and its growing reputation in creative technologies
- Cultural regeneration, which reflects DMU’s international excellence in civic engagement and placemaking
- Next generation research, with agility to respond to new opportunities and building capability for future research inquiry in creative and heritage industries
Our vision is to work strategically and collaboratively, building on our existing strengths while at the same time, working towards joint goals, which address new societal challenges, and further develop people and places.
The impact of DMU’s creative and heritage industries research can be seen in the contributions, transformations and benefits that our research has within the creative and heritage industries, in society, the economy, public policy, health and wellbeing, places and the environment at large. Our research theme embraces creativity, culture and heritage, and encompasses diverse aspects of communication, enrichment and wellbeing, inclusion and empowerment, evidence and decision making, sustainability, and technologies. These characteristics provide the foundation on which we will deliver benefit to society. The key principles of our strategy are:
- Working with stakeholders to inform and apply our research.
- Ensuring that our knowledge makes a difference, by using research to change practice.
- Developing mutually beneficial and enduring partnerships to co-create research.
- Developing internationally significant research that tackles societal challenges.