MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Metropolitan University

Heritage and Place Branding

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Each year Historic England produce and publish an annual survey of the state of England’s historic environment entitled ‘Heritage Counts’ on behalf of the Historic Environment Forum (HEF). Heritage Counts explores the social and economic role of the historic environment and focuses on a different theme. The theme of Heritage Counts 2016 will be Heritage and Place-making. We wish to commission research on the role of heritage in place making. Due to the breadth of this subject area, we are keen to focus the research on a specific aspect of place making in practice. We propose that the research should focus on the use of heritage in place branding in Business Improvement District’s (BID’s). We are open to alternative suggestions. The key research questions are: i) What is place branding and what is the value of place branding? Is heritage a suitable element of place branding? ii) How and to what extent are BIDs involved in place branding? How is heritage used in BIDs’ place branding and place making strategies? What is the added value of heritage? iii) How can places better use heritage in place making and specifcally place branding? The precise methodology for conducting the research will be for the consultant team to agree with Historic England, as project lead. We encourage partnerships and collaborative working. The resulting research must be robust and credible for use when advocating the value of heritage to those outside the sector e.g. local authorities, business leaders, government departments. We want the research to provide up to date evidence, outlining innovative ways of thinking about heritage in place. By thinking creatively about dissemination we want this research to reach a wide audience.

Deadline for proposals: 24 February

Funding available: £40,000 – £60,000

For more information, please contact


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