KE Collaborative R&D Case Study
Project title - "How audiences form: exploring film provision and participation in the north of England"
Our work means organisations across the Hub can make better use of data in planning their provision. It also makes it easier for them to facilitate participation, which could see an increase in social capital through engagement with culture.
Dr David forrest
Dr David Forrest
School of English
Dr Bridgette Wessels and Dr Steven Corbett
Department of Sociological Studies
There is potential value locked away in cinema audience data. This is the finding of a project funded by a KE Collaborative R&D award.
Researchers in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the Faculty of Social Sciences worked with the British Film Institute’s audience network hub for north-eastern England, Film Hub North, using the project to establish a long-term partnership. The results offer a model for how heritage and creative sectors could make more use of audience data to improve economic performance.
Activities & Impact
Work focused on gathering and analysing data to reveal how, why and where people went to the cinema in the region. Interviews with policy makers, senior cinema professionals and community organisers were complemented by three focus groups and a survey of cinema goers to create a fuller picture.
Such extensive information generated a detailed project report and a website that uses a range of data visualisation techniques to help understand trends in cinema provision. These tools have created a solid foundation for further planning and resource development across the hub: a practical outcome backed by academic rigor and scholarly focus.
Film Hub North is the first in the BFI’s national network of hubs to engage with a university to develop research tools. By establishing an effective relationship with a significant partner in the regional cultural sector, the University is in a stronger position to take advantage of further funding opportunities, such as those from the AHRC that emphasise engagement with the creative and digital economy.
The team are working on a grant application to the AHRC that identifies areas for development and has at its heart questions of cultural participation. A longer-term project will capitalise on the strong partnership established by the initial project. There is already the nucleus of a research team and the work has attracted new interest from other possible partners.
Dr Forrest said: “Our work means organisations across the Hub can make better use of data in planning their provision. It also makes it easier for them to facilitate participation, which could see an increase in social capital through engagement with culture.”