Bridging the Gap: Shaping the Southwest and Wales through Arts and Humanities

Date: 20/01/2017

The GW4 Alliance meton Thursday 19 January to discuss vision and strategy for the AHRC-funded Bridging the Gap project.

The GW4 Alliance - a collaborative organisation of the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, and Cardiff - received funding from the AHRC in November 2016 for the Bridging the Gap project, which seeks to contribute to the wider discussion about the role of arts and humanities research in the Southwest and beyond.

The project will examine four priority areas: heritage, the creative economy, modern languages, and environmental humanities.

Alongside a wide range of researchers, PhD students, and professionals in the arts and humanities sector, delegates included the AHRC's Creative Economy Champion, Prof. Andrew Chitty; the Imperial War Museum's Head of Research and Academic Engagement, Dr Suzanne Bardgett; and Director of the Brigstow Institute and academic lead for Bridging the Gap, Prof. Tim Cole.

The GW4 Alliance is a melting-pot of interdisciplinary research, combining physical resources and intellectual capacity to tackle local, national, and global challenges. The Bridging the Gap project seeks to specifically identify the role and impact that the arts and humanities can have in this.

Key discussion points included the significance of the creative economy, the role of the arts and humanities in creating content for technology, heritage as part of the tourism industry, and how arts and humanities fits into the government's industrial strategy.

Prof. Andrew Chitty, who made his debut public appearance as the AHRC's Creative Economy Champion, emphasised the importance of focussing on the assets already available, and to use this to help create attainable objectives for the Alliance.

There was also discussionin how to developtheinvolvement of more traditional arts and humanities disciplines in the creative economy.

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