Centre for Rural Economy


Northumbrian Exchanges: Creative Community Engagement in Rural Northumberland

This research responded to identified needs of various partners in rural Northumberland (the sparsest populated county in England), exploring new models of knowledge exchange relating to rural cultural economies. Bringing together multidisciplinary research excellence in creative practice and theory, it focused on the under-researched contribution of culture, particularly visual arts practice and music, to rural development and the mechanisms by which this is enacted. The project delivered through three strands, each responding to key issues identified by partner organisations, such as the Holy Island Partnership (HIP), Allenheads Contemporary Arts (ACA) and Alwinton Festival, who wished to develop new ways of working relating to local communities. The research used the expertise of staff, students and partners to understand creative engagement within rural contexts and test practical ways of addressing needs.