Cultural Intermediation: connecting communities in the creative urban economy


2012 - 2016

Principal Investigator
Professor Ian Grosvenor


Cultural intermediation is a process which connects different kinds of communities into the creative economy and wider society. It plays a critical role in raising aspirations, upskilling and building confidence, all of which are vital to allow people to engage with and benefit from one of the most dynamic sectors of the contemporary UK economy.

This AHRC funded project aims to discover how the value of cultural intermediation can be captured and how this activity can be enhanced to create more effective connection between communities and the creative economy.

The objectives of the research are to:

  • create new ways of measuring value;
  • analyse the historic development of cultural intermediation to inform current practice;
  • examine how intermediation fits within the existing policy landscape and the governance of relations between the different actors;
  • explore the effectiveness of intermediation activity from a community perspective;
  • design new forms of intermediation through a series of practice-based interventions; and reflect on the process of working across and between disciplines and
    sectors in order to enhance practice.

The research has a number of key applications and wider benefits. In providing a means to capture the value of intermediation, policy makers and practitioners will be able to foster better practice.

The project is being led by Dr Phil Jones, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Geography at the University of Birmingham. Co-applicants at the University of Birmingham include Professor Ian Grosvenor from the School of Education, Dr Lisa De Propris from the Business School and Professor Russell Beale from the School of Computer Science. Academic partners include Birmingham City University, University of Salford, Leeds Metropolitan, City University and the University of Cardiff as well as Visiting Arts.