Bath Spa to set up hub that gives arts and cultural groups access to universities’ expertise

November 19, 2020

Bath Spa University is to play a key role in providing a timely boost to the UK’s arts and cultural sector by linking it with experts from the academic world.

Bath Spa, which is one of the country’s leading creative universities, will be the regional hub for a new National Centre for Academic and Cultural Exchange (NCACE). 

In that role it will facilitate and support more and better capacity for knowledge exchange between higher education and the arts and cultural sector.

The NCACE is being created by The Culture Capital Exchange (TCCE) and is being funded for four years by Research England, the organisation that oversees knowledge transfer from English universities.

Over that period it will collaborate with partners across the country to harness the expertise and experience in UK universities to help arts and cultural groups, many of which are facing huge financial problems due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

This could include areas such as management training, developing skills and building networks and measuring the impact of the organisation to demonstrate their economic, social, cultural and environmental impact.

Bath Spa University pro vice-chancellor of research and enterprise Prof John Strachan said: “Bath Spa University is proud to be a partner of the new National Centre for Academic and Cultural Exchange.

“The South West regional hub will be led by Prof Bambo Soyinka, director of the university’s Research Centre for Transcultural Creativity and Education (TRACE), building on our strengths in engaged research and cultural exchange.”

Research England executive chair David Sweeney added: “I am excited to be investing in this new centre that hopes to bring a step change in the ability of universities to support knowledge exchange with the arts and cultural sector in this difficult time.

“This is an important opportunity to better understand, demonstrate and further support and nurture the exceptional collaborative work that is being done across the country, and for Research England and universities to support the wider resilience of the sector into the future.”

NCACE will be led by TCCE co-directors Evelyn Wilson and Suzie Leighton, who said it would build on TCCE’s track record of innovation and thought leadership in an exciting and quickly evolving field.

“The exchange and creation of new knowledge to help meet key challenges of our time has never been more important,” they said. 

“We look forward to working with our partners to showcase existing excellence, support future skills development in knowledge exchange, increase capacity for collaborative research, and provide robust and relevant evidence to help underpin the future development of the sector.”

Manchester Metropolitan University, Northumbria University and Birmingham City University will join Bath Spa University as additional regional hubs.

Bath Spa University, which has more than 7,000 students, offers a wide range of courses across the arts, sciences, education, social science and business.



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