Logo Assembly Logo Hemicycle

The value of cultural heritage in a democratic society

Report | Doc. 14834 | 15 February 2019

Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media
Rapporteur :
Lord Alexander DUNDEE, United Kingdom, EC
Reference to committee: Doc. 14026, Reference 4228 of 24 June 2016. 2019 - March Standing Committee


Cultural heritage is not simply about monuments, artefacts in museums, or even skills and traditions. In an increasingly cosmopolitan society, culture and heritage are about identity. They are indispensable tools to find innovative solutions to the problems of our societies. But to do so, culture and heritage must be part of mainstream thinking regarding social and economic change. The report highlights seven challenges which underpin the present and future relationship between the value of cultural heritage and democracy.

Together, the Council of Europe and the European Union should raise the level of activities in the cultural field to ensure that culture and heritage are viewed from a human rights perspective. For these are powerful ways to address the social and economic challenges of today, with a huge potential to integrate people who feel marginalised, and to encourage public debate and common projects among people with very different lifestyles, ways of thinking, value systems, traditions and beliefs.

A Draft resolutionNote

1 Cultural diversity and the richness of cultural heritage are important assets for European economies and societies. The Parliamentary Assembly recalls the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (CETS No. 199, “Faro Convention”), which promotes a wider understanding of cultural heritage and its relationship to communities and society. It also emphasises the importance of cultural heritage as it relates not only to the economies of regions and local communities but also to human rights and democracy in Europe.
2 In Resolution 2123 (2016) and Recommendation 2093 (2016) on culture and democracy, the Assembly broadens the definition of culture to include spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features which characterise a society. Thereby covered are not only cultural heritage, the arts and letters, but also lifestyles, ways of thinking and acting, value systems, traditions and beliefs. Seen in this context, culture then becomes a powerful tool to encourage constructive thought, to initiate public debate and to strengthen democratic practice.
3 The Assembly considers that culture and heritage have a useful role to play in regions and localities – sustaining their economies; improving co-operation with their communities; and inspiring better and more creative solutions to their everyday problems – but only if decision makers in the public and private sectors are sensitive to their value. The Assembly therefore emphasises the core principles of the Faro Convention, indicating that these should be widely used and implemented locally, whether in towns, cities or rural areas.
4 Accordingly, the Assembly recommends that the member States of the Council of Europe:
4.1 sign and ratify the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society, if they have not already done so;
4.2 assist local authorities to deploy the principles laid down in the convention as well as in Recommendation CM/Rec(2017)1 which launches the European Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century, and also at State level encouraging policies to:
4.2.1 promote a greater degree of inclusiveness within a wider range of expression in order to maximise the useful contribution which culture can make within the State;
4.2.2 direct culture and heritage in more effective ways into education, employment, the economy, research and innovation, social services, health and welfare;
4.2.3 combine strategies and actions for local sustainable development across different sectors, thus reflecting a new spirit of co-operation which seeks to overcome restrictions all too often present within national legislation and instead to provide necessary support and incentives which can lead to constructive outcomes;
4.2.4 review and update education curricula and vocational training so that they respond correctly to changing employment needs within the cultural sector, allowing for a stronger combination of arts, economy, technology and science to be formed in order to stimulate much more convincing interaction between technologies, the creative arts and entrepreneurship.
5 The Assembly thus recommends that local and regional authorities:
5.1 develop sustainable development strategies using culture and heritage as core elements;
5.2 promote a positive vision of culture and its ability to broaden skills and innovative approaches to the economy;
5.3 are not restrained by any unnecessary and arbitrary divisions between culture and economy;
5.4 bring together a wide range of associations and participants in order to agree upon shared objectives for local development;
5.5 encourage partnerships between industries, cultural institutions, local schools and vocational training institutions so that young people become involved, especially in redevelopment projects in deprived areas;
5.6 persuade cultural institutions to involve many more people in their programmes and to explore new forms of engagement within the community through their outreach services;
5.7 facilitate additional opportunities for jobs and skills within the cultural and heritage sectors, by providing incentives for new “creative spaces”, relevant local education modules, and effective partnerships and training.
6 The Assembly pays tribute to the key role played by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, to its achievements through co-operation to address the challenges facing the cultural and democratic life of cities and rural areas. For its part, the Assembly will promote such co-operation, notably in connection with the four awards which make up the Europe Prize.
7 Following the success of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, the Assembly invites the European Union to initiate further co-operation with the Council of Europe in the framework of the forthcoming European Action Plan for Cultural Heritage and the new European Agenda for Culture, and also with European and international city networks and associations to promote the implementation of the Faro principles within local and regional sustainable development projects.
8 The Assembly also invites the European Commission to consider whether existing funding programmes that cut across several Directorates General (Regional and Urban Policy; Education; Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (and its Audiovisual and the Culture Executive Agency); and Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion), might be reviewed; this is in order to co-ordinate those programmes more efficiently so that the funded projects themselves could be more coherent and better co-ordinated ito serve as best practice examples for other European cities or regional areas.

B Draft recommendationNote

1 The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution … (2019) on the value of cultural heritage in a democratic society, considers culture and heritage to be central to democratic stability in Europe today, for culture and heritage move and inspire people. In times of economic uncertainty or recession, they are also powerful beacons of light to raise hope and to nourish identity and belonging. The Assembly therefore urges the Committee of Ministers to devote resources to pursue its long-standing work in this regard with member States.
2 The Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (CETS No. 199, “Faro Convention”), the European Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century (Strategy 21), the Council of Europe Cultural Routes Programme and the European Heritage Days all provide an excellent framework to promote cultural heritage, backed up by the policies of member States within which culture and cultural heritage can be placed at the core of sustainable development strategies at local and regional levels.
3 The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
3.1 re-enforce support for existing Council of Europe programmes in the culture and cultural heritage field, including for technical assistance programmes, in order to support public authorities in member States with targeted policy review, legal advice and other initiatives;
3.2 build up much better co-operation with the European Union within the framework of the forthcoming European Action Plan for Cultural Heritage and the new Agenda for Culture, with a view to stimulating innovation and carrying out forward-looking initiatives in the culture and cultural heritage field which aim at community building and inclusiveness.
4 The Assembly considers that the momentum gathered during the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 represents an opportunity to build stronger partnerships with the European Union to raise the level of ambition in the cultural field, so that culture and heritage become the real drivers of change in the future. The Assembly therefore invites the Committee of Ministers and the European Union to intensify their exchanges in order to increase their co-operation projects to promote European cultural values through technical assistance programmes and funding available for local and regional sustainable development projects that implement the principles of the Faro Convention and the European Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century.

C Explanatory memorandum by Lord Alexander Dundee, rapporteur

1 Introduction

1 As stated in the motion for a resolution,Note “Cultural diversity and the richness of cultural heritage are important assets for European economies and societies”. That is also supported by the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (CETS No. 199, “Faro Convention”) of 2005. This emphasises the importance of cultural heritage within national democracies and its scope for enriching daily life in their localities and communities.
2 The Brundtland ReportNote defines sustainable development as development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs; thus, how new and old cultures may be supported together to the advantage of all, and not least young people, is the central focus of this report.
3 In her report, “Culture and democracy”,Note Ms Vesna Marjanović looks at the broad range of “culture” and what it really means; indicating how it embraces the spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features which characterise every society. In this case, the term includes not only cultural heritage, the arts and letters, but also lifestyles, ways of thinking and behaving, value systems, traditions and beliefs. Seen in this context, culture then becomes a powerful tool to encourage constructive thought, to initiate public debate and to strengthen democratic practice.
4 This report urges decision-makers to adopt the core principles of the Faro Convention at grass roots level, in order to boost local economies and assist the well-being of their communities.
5 It also identifies the issues and challenges which are to be addressed if proper progress is to be made. For his useful work and contribution to that assessment, I should like to thank Professor Andrew Pratt, Head of the Department of Cultural Economy at London City University. I have also taken account of the outcomes of two hearings of the Sub-Committee on Culture, Diversity and Heritage, in Aarhus on 4 April 2017 and in London on 26 March 2018.

2 Cultural heritage: the reinvigoration of local economies and communities

6 Two successful examples of this are taken from London: firstly, the Borough of Hackney where private initiatives have been supported by the local administration; secondly, the Borough of Waltham Forest which has become part of a European project.
7 In Hackney, conditions have steadily declined since the 1970s. The same may be true of a number of other London boroughs. For although some new jobs have been introduced, many more have been lost through deindustrialisation. As a result, the area has demonstrated extremes: its population being divided between rich and poor, employed and unemployed, skilled and unskilled.Note At the same time, the local authority has performed badly, lacking competent leadership and nearly becoming bankrupt.
8 Fortunately, however, the position has now improved. This is largely due to investment in the arts and heritage. Spaces for creative endeavours have been made available. Consequently, this part of London (a crescent starting in Islington then extending through Hackney to east London) has become an epicentre of artistic and cultural production. Many of the participants even operate on an international level, although a number of them still survive on low incomes and initially struggle to find studios.Note
9 However, Hackney’s recent success reflects constructive partnerships between business enterprise and the local authority; it also reinforces the conviction that imaginative deployments of cultural heritage can stimulate employment in the open and cosmopolitan communities of this London borough.
10 That development has also altered people’s expectation of what culture can achieve. Previously it was often viewed as either irrelevant or else only of marginal benefit. Yet now, from within a borough such as Hackney, it is perceived instead to be a useful economic force and hence of value locally, nationally and internationally.
11 Unlike Hackney, which is an inner London borough, Waltham Forest is in the outer north-east of the city. Being further from the centre it is much less well endowed. For example, within its boundaries there are no publicly funded art bodies at all. By contrast, Islington, which is close to Hackney, has 25 publicly funded institutions. And while deindustrialisation may have undermined the economies of many London boroughs, at least those nearer the centre such as Hackney have had a better chance of recovery compared with others out on a limb, like Waltham Forest.
12 In 2018, the Mayor of London launched a venture inspired by the European Capital of Culture Programme: the London Borough of Culture. Waltham Forest won the first award of this initiative.Note Such competitions are often useful. Waltham Forest had to form its cultural bid from very little. As already indicated, this is because it is much worse off than other boroughs. Yet such comparative adversity proved to be an advantage instead: the borough was challenged to discover new networks, which had not been previously connected, let alone allied to the local authority; and moreover some of them had not previously even appeared to be cultural networks at all.
13 In summary, both these examples from Hackney and Waltham Forest show how cultural projects can reinvigorate local economies and communities previously disconnected from their public authorities, thus re- engaging those who have lost faith in top-down government. They also illustrate the wide definition and relevant scope for cultural heritage itself to assist daily life.

3 Mainstreaming culture in governance

14 In the last decade or so, certain areas of culture and the economy have been acknowledged as contributing to local employment and income generation, as well as constituting cultural value.Note
15 However, this new form of hybrid culture, which includes heritage as well as creative industries, may present a difficulty both to the not-for-profit, and for-profit spheres.
16 Whilst local authority culture departments are declining in size, and resource base,Note in many aspects culture is more vibrant, sustained both by private resources and as part of programmes run within other sectors such as health, transport, economic development, and various other agencies. The aim is how to sustain a coherent strategic vision for culture when its delivery is spread so widely over other sectors.
17 The “European Capital of Culture”, launched by the European Commission, is perhaps the best known venture engaging with urban regeneration and culture. Yet it simply began as an eulogy to celebrate the diversity of European cultures as represented by cities. Since it was set up in 1985, the programme has inspired a significant growth in culture,Note as can be seen from the way localities and communities are currently adapting and redefining their own particular cultural identities.
18 At first, the meetings moved around so that local cultures could be celebrated in different places. Thereby also the strength and diversity of the European culture is revealed: by picking one area at a time where endeavours are centred and financed. Recently the scope has broadened, encouraging even more participants and visitors. And it is now supplemented by community events as well. So while the European initiatives still last for six months a year, they are frequently taken up by cities to kick-start a separate longer-term project. Increasingly, the focus is not just on historical heritage, but instead on new cultural identities connected both to the past and to the future. It has thus become quite usual for these new programmes to express different types of cultural practice. They also manage to link with “non-cultural” activities such as health, transport, economic development and housing.
19 Critics of the European Capital of Culture programme have highlighted a number of components which have contributed to its success. First, is the challenge of the bidding process. This brings with it more opportunities than it used to. That is good for the community and for society. Many more stakeholders are involved. Added to which, a deadline is set. Yet even unsuccessful bidders benefit because they find that the process itself leads to further projects. Connected to this, and secondly, there is good scope for networking between all the sectors of traditional and modern culture. Third, integrating art into the European Capital of Culture Programme has boosted the confidence and reputation of many cities, due to successful deployment of new collaborations, capacities and ambitions. Finally, whilst of course some expertise has come from outside, by and large those taking part consider that the source of energy and inspiration is where they are: and that they themselves have unlocked their own belonging, identity and skills, thus connecting to the whole community.
20 Looking across the European Capital of Culture project evaluations,Note we may detect a positive yet refreshingly “light touch” approach from central administrations, and an ability to switch the focus according to local wishes. This broad attitude has assisted the programme’s development. There are now proper records showing the diverse experiences of each European Capital of Culture event and often this provides an insight into how culture has become a means of social, cultural and economic transformation. This “learning network” of cities is the model now employed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in its Creative Cities Network, which has 180 member cities.Note The perspective of the European Capital of Culture Programme has also already extended beyond historical heritage, towards new cultural identities connected both to the past and the future. What is also convincing is that they manage to encompass “non-cultural” activities such as health, transport, economic development and housing.
21 This shift of perspective is striking: it proves that “culture” can be “rethought”. The process of listening and responding to the voice of local communities enables local democracy to revive and become effective – and its citizens once more re-engaged.
22 The lesson from the European Capital of Culture Programme is that culture is valuable when it is not treated in an isolated or traditional way – that is as an “add-on” to an economic or social project – and that the European Capital of Culture Programme can be both “a means and a method” for social engagement. It gives us a new understanding of what “mainstreaming” means, beyond the common usage of including a particular issue in all agendas; the lesson here is that culture can lead the overall initiative (local development strategy), and mobilise other sectors to provide support and participate.

4 The changing scope of culture

23 The last 50 years has seen a relaxation of the strict hierarchies between “high” and “low” culture, also between for-profit, and not-for-profit activities. Previous attitudes opposing culture and economy are beginning to change. And a greater scope for “ordinary culture” has been recognised as being of “value” to society. This has led to more people being included, and their interests being upheld by society.
24 Various types of initiatives have emerged. Some use culture as an expedient for social cohesion, health benefits and inter-cultural understanding. Others use it for economic development and urban regeneration. Others simply develop projects for their intrinsic cultural value.Note
25 There are many tensions between the two spheres of activity, and even variations within cultural activities. Yet, increasingly, public bodies have been developing policies, regulations and institutions. These enable culture and economy to bring benefits for society.
26 A certain theme ran through case studies which were presented to the sub-committee in London. This was the way in which culture and heritage had altered and been reinvented. Yet this was not an academic exercise of redefinition, but instead one presented as a challenge to policy makers by the communities concerned. Often it has conflicted with what public bodies have previously considered as culture, as well as that which has been formerly supported from public funds. Culture, as a practice, has undergone a revolution in the last 25 years, in particular in the United Kingdom.Note However, that shift of direction was heralded by a decade of initiatives in major cities: these activities focused on youth unemployment and re-engagement, and upon the ways in which cultural employment may contribute to finding a solution.Note The important insights were that culture was both a commercial and a State-funded activity creating social and economic impacts, and that the economic impact had previously been underestimated in terms of jobs and income, as well as in terms of the specific role of culture for regeneration.
27 This change had also affected cultural institutions, notably the attention to “new museology” which argued for a greater engagement of visitors and exhibits, and outreach into communities not previously benefiting from the museum experience.Note More generally, it corresponded to new ways of thinking about social policy, specifically the notion of “social exclusion”.Note Social exclusion debates have stressed how inclusion in a wide range of activities underpins democracy and citizenship. The United Kingdom wove the new creative industries, cultural policy and social inclusion tightly together in its rethinking. Some felt it went too far, in that culture seemed to be expected to solve all society’s ills, neglecting “great culture”.Note However, the overall legacy has been fresh thinking about what culture means: a redefinition going beyond previous boundaries of “high” and “low” culture; the “formal” and “informal”, as well as the “commercial” and “State funded”.
28 It has not only been in the United Kingdom, and lately the European Union where a wider concept of culture has been discussed,Note the debate has also been taken up vigorously within the United Nations where its definition has also been broadened to address its ever changing nature, its diversity, as well as its relationship to identity.Note The United Kingdom, like many States around the world, has renamed what was previously its “Department of National Heritage”, as the “Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport”. While this may be of interest symbolically, it also reveals good common sense in the preparedness to bring together diverse components of the “cultural ecosystem” under one roof. These changes have been generally slower to occur at local authority level.

5 Public–private partnerships and funding

29 In the United Kingdom, as public funding has been redirected toward other priorities, and the unit of resource has fallen, cultural agencies have been facing the problem of their survival. Recently, one local authority set a zero budget for culture. The report will show examples of innovative approaches to funding culture. Similar constraints on public funding are experienced in most, if not all, European countries. The level of public funding for all culture is falling globally, especially in those countries with austerity policies.Note If institutions wish to thrive and survive they will have to find new ways of funding culture.
30 In the United Kingdom, local authorities, and individual institutions have had to invent new methods in order to finance culture. Austerity measures have meant that some institutions have had to close while others have been staffed by volunteers. Most cultural institutions have had to re-direct monies from different sources. One example is the way in which culture can be used instrumentally as a means of promoting and enabling another function (health, transport, social inclusion, etc.). Some very positive outcomes have resulted from such mutual co-operation.Note
31 Other approaches are more controversial and potentially problematic, such as sponsorship deals. Many national museums have such arrangements; some provide a substantial proportion of all funding for certain institutions. In a large one like the Tate, as much as 60% of annual funding comes from this source. However, sponsorship does not always work: many smaller institutions attract little if any of it all, especially those outside London. Even for the lucky institutions receiving sponsorship, managing the different stakeholder objectives and reputations can often be difficult. The real challenge is how to resolve differing objectives and to balance whatever rights the stakeholders may have in influencing content. Moreover, as has also been illustrated in London, there is a potential moral hazard to which institutions are exposed and this may devalue them by association.Note
32 A recent example concerned those protesting against BP’s activities, and their sponsorship of the Tate. Activists wanted the Tate to disassociate itself from BP, and its money, which they claimed was financing environmental damage.
33 This highlights the tension between art and money. The origin of modern State cultural policy in the United Kingdom was the establishment of the Arts Council in 1946, reflecting the principle of the “buffer” between art and the State: called the “arm’s length principle”. Governance rules may exist to create such a buffer with private interests; however as in the case of BP, they did not insulate the Tate from damage to its reputation.Note Institutions are having to navigate this complex hinterland between State and market, which leads to the current challenges of cultural governance and representation (of art forms, and communities). Institutions are often pushed to the “front line” to make decisions which were previously taken by central government or mandated by funding. Furthermore, these institutions are no longer fully “public” and the balance between “accountable” interests is often difficult to make. It will require new skills and training for administrators beyond the traditional curatorial skills or public management expertise; it may also potentially require new terms of governance and accountability for institutions.

6 Employment and skills

34 Employment in the cultural sector is expanding at above the average rate for all other employment. Cultural jobs are becoming a key part of Europe’s future,Note yet the education and skills agenda has still to catch up with this new trend. Most government agencies promote science, technology and engineering at the expense of arts and culture. More specifically we have seen the withdrawal of many craft activities from the school curriculum. However, it is only through a combination of arts and science that creativity or technologies are manifest as products or experiences.Note
35 The question is not simply to provide adequate training or education but to expand the range of skills. Crafts offer a huge repository of skills that have been set aside in favour of a new technique. Nevertheless, skills are multivalent: they can be used and reused in different contexts. Preserving those which are required in heritage projects, or just that are not often used, is to provide necessary resources for the future. This has been part of the Council of Europe Technical Co-operation and Consultancy Programme.Note Maintaining skills is part of community building, a way of passing knowledge from one generation to another, and of conserving heritage itself.
36 Craft skills can also engender new jobs, especially for young people. Witness the rise of the “maker movement” opening up new spaces that use technologies and creativity to repair, revise and refashion products, as well as to make uniquely special ones. Also, maker spaces can be sites for learning, and continuous learning, as well as a means to nurture and teach local craft skills and techniques.
37 Local authorities on the edge of great cities, like Thurrock in the outer London area, have experienced de-industrialisation; and they have not generally experienced the rapid economic re-growth of inner London. The “economic ecosystem” that has previously linked community, school, employment and home has been severed.Note
38 The High House scheme at Thurrock assessed the problem of finding new work for young people in a “broken” economic ecosystem. The solution was perhaps surprisingly to attract the Royal Opera House stage set-building facility to Thurrock. This is an activity that requires craft skills. In order to proceed, High House set up a partnership between the Royal Opera House and the local schools and training centres. This partnership, together with the skills of “brokering” to achieve resilience, proved to be effective. In order to bridge the gaps of aspiration, expertise and activity, new words and job descriptions were invented. For the way that people and their jobs are talked about can often help or hinder engagement in the first place. High House was also prepared to accept a “DIY mindset”. This enabled a flexible and unorthodox response to problems, and as they said, to “create their own luck”.Note
39 The Borough of Islington, neighbouring Hackney, is quite similar; it has publicly funded bodies, has been ill served by its local administration and it is diverse ethnically as well as economically (having some of London’s richest, as well as poorest citizens). Central to Islington's cultural initiatives have been two aims: fairness of opportunity and the delivery of employment. Instead of a traditional agenda of “skills matching”, or “improved exam results”, the focus has been on the entitlement of excluded communities. This notion of entitlement reflects what has been lost: the previous aspiration now diminished, the expectation of not getting jobs, or not “deserving” certain types of jobs, especially in the cultural economy. Survey data have shown that all sectors of culture are insufficiently represented by working class people, ethnic minorities and women.Note Young people within those categories are thus held back: the growth of the creative industries, which although successfully developing to some extent, is also curtailed in London and could otherwise do so much better. As it is, Islington has mobilised its 65 schools into a “community” to better enable employment and job experience. There are also 25 publicly funded art agencies. A partnership has been forged with the schools giving pupils experiences of the cultural sector. Previously, this would have taken them to the theatre, or to a museum; now it is to find work. As a result, the problems of skills shortage and local employment are reduced.
40 These examples illustrate the good effects of “real” partnerships formed by common interest and which carry a long-term commitment to the community. It is through such partnerships that “new pathways” can be forged: bringing in young people and allowing the community to re-engage with work and culture.

7 Cultural vitality and its impact on democracy

41 Cultures should reflect diversity of skills, responsive ideas and be outward looking. They should also include the willingness and aptitude for dealing with everyday problems and challenges.
42 A culture on emergent shared values and ideas builds us a unique resource from which all can benefit. Europe’s cultural history is an accessible resource, but a new culture is necessary for the future, one which includes sustainable development, and which can be passed on to the next generation.
43 We have to examine ways and means of enabling culture and economy to combine to support diversity. This affects society as a whole. We therefore need to examine the tools that have been used as part of cultural and heritage programmes: this is to enable the population to appreciate and make choices in a diverse environment.
44 Tate Modern might well claim to bridge the gap between culture, heritage and democracy. Now one of the most visited tourist attractions in the United Kingdom, it is also close to many other cultural institutions within the London Borough of Southwark. Developers are attracted even though there is still much poor housing. Old warehouses, relics of the disused docks, have already been converted into valuable apartments. All the same, here is a slight inconsistency, as within the area the gap between affluence and poverty has marginally widened. Therefore, to some although limited extent, the Tate Modern may have unintentionally exacerbated the very problem which it had otherwise sought to minimise.Note
45 In handling the relationship between art, society and government, the Tate adopts a radical approach. Tate Exchange is a programme which enables 60 partners to work within and without the art world. Traditional “outreach” organises school visits to galleries and talks at schools. Yet the Tate has broadened this endeavour and now the community is involved. Spaces are offered and staff are available to assist. As a result, the scope has become greater for art to benefit the locality. Issues recently addressed include improved housing, work, citizenship and social democracy. Tate Liverpool and Tate Modern are equally active, each looking at ways to help their communities through art.
46 These examples show how cultural institutions are adapting. The revised attitude is not assertive, instead it invites questions and debate: for example how art can do more to help people wherever they live, not least taking into account the importance of maintaining a certain balance within society which is increasingly multicultural. That is to engender appreciation and respect for the difference between histories and cultural practices. That approach has already proved effective in reducing conflict in war zones as it also has in decreasing tensions in other contexts, such as in our cities, where culture represents a means to negotiate a variety of challenges.Note

8 Specific situation in rural and remote areas

47 Cultural heritage and cultural activities mainly apply to cities, as also do the benefits of knowledge exchange.
48 Rural and remote communities should have proper access to culture, including touring companies and, thanks to new technology, the projection of live theatre. Nevertheless, clearly political resolve is required in the first place to protect and encourage the right of rural society to equality of access and opportunity.
49 Remote areas often lack sufficient investment in training, skills and resources. As a result, young people are all the more likely to leave to find work in the cities.
50 It has been alleged that too much funding goes to large conurbations and the national capital city itself. If so this would disadvantage regions, drawing people away from them. In any case and owing to the greater opportunities there afforded, artists and cultural stakeholders would always be expected to move and operate within cities. United Kingdom cultural policy has tried to protect regions, where it has set up national institutions. Another intervention has been “NT Live”. This is a digital capture of live theatre that is re-broadcast in local cinemas in the regions.
51 However, while such initiatives may offer a wider spread of activities there, they have done little to reverse the “cultural drain” from the regions. Their cultural practices are now under threat due to both a lack of funding and absence of skilled people. One response has been to develop outdoor museums. Up to a point this keeps the display of activities “alive” and creates some jobs, but it falls well short of supporting a vibrant cultural economy.
52 The challenge here is to sustain craft skills for which there appears to be no current market. Keeping them going is not simply about finding a market: it also requires learning, the training of new workers and passing on skills. The crafts can provide jobs, and they enhance cultural diversity. On the other hand, if unique skills and practices are allowed to decline then they are likely to disappear forever.
53 Closely connected to the consideration of skills and crafts is that of livelihoods. Housing represents another threat to artists and cultural workers. Frequently, it is far too expensive, especially for young families, and consequently artists and other low paid workers cannot afford to live in big cities. Affordable housing, linked to cultural and heritage-based employment is therefore essential in order to sustain rural communities and their cultures. An initiative which has developed in the United Kingdom is artist-run, or artist-owned housing and workshops.Note The idea is to remove property from the “market” via third sector ownership to protect cultural workers from housing and workshop inflation.

9 Conclusions

54 This report has highlighted seven challenges which underpin the present and future relationship between the value of cultural heritage and democracy. The report acquired expert input from senior policy makers from local authorities in London which have been experiencing problems, confronting these with innovative and effective responses. However, policy initiatives still must take into account local legislative, social, cultural and economic particulars and details. Any such solutions cannot be simply copied, but they can be adopted as processes which can then be used as templates for awkward problems experienced elsewhere.
55 The seven challenges that are identified engender a range of insights into the cultural heritage–democracy relationship. It is important to note that all three key terms – culture, democracy and heritage – are dynamic and changing. Heritage is often thought of as “the past”. By using the notion of sustainability, we can recognise that tomorrow’s heritage must be created today. There is a link between past, present and future which ought to be managed. This has been emphasised both in connection with cultural employment and with how we learn to understand culture in the first place.
56 Culture and our assessment of it are subject to change: not just new forms of cultural expression or new tools and techniques of communication. We re-evaluate the past in the context of the present. The idea of social inclusion as part of democracy is central. Previously the notion of “national culture” was upheld by nation States and empires, but today we tend to construe it as a source and proof of diversity within healthy democracies. Maintaining such diversity in the present yet properly understanding the past as well is the key challenge. Once this balance has been achieved then communities will prosper. Genuine diversity has to encompass different viewpoints and perspectives corresponding to a wide range of cultures
57 Entitlement to culture is a way of expressing the “ownership” of culture. This is why cultural heritage is not simply about artefacts in museums, or even skills and jobs. In an increasingly cosmopolitan society heritage is both personal as well as community focused. Heritage is about identity, not just a political label. It is the experience of the family and community roots, and that of journeys from a previous home to the current one. This flux and its ever extending “reach” throughout the world presents fresh opportunities across housing, work and leisure.
58 In the examples given we can see why local authorities must heed current demands as well as respect those of past, and distant, communities. Local authorities have started to strike this balance within the conduct of civic administration. It has been indicated how culture touches and mobilises people, and not least in times of economic uncertainty or decline, how it can also reignite hope, identity and belonging; for people to earn new respect and to be fired with fresh ambition.
59 It also affords the opportunity to transform a problem into a solution. But to do so, and in the first place, we need to introduce culture and heritage into mainstream thinking about social and economic change. For hitherto the perception of culture has often been rather more a charming ingredient for adding “fun” or “respectability” to projects otherwise devoid of too much appeal. On the contrary, these examples show how culture should be front and centre, so that other parts of the economy and of society may be used as a means for promoting the right form of cultural heritage, a heritage which we would wish to pass on to future generations.