Making Heritage Count? Research Study Conducted for

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Making Heritage Count?

Research Study Conducted for

English Heritage, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Heritage Lottery Fund

October 2003


Introduction 1

Background 1

Objectives 1

Methodology 1

Overview 5

Implications 9

Main Quantitative Summary 11

Heritage and the Historic Environment – Spontaneous Associations 14

Heritage and the Historic Environment – Prompted Associations 16

Experience of Heritage 18

Experience of Heritage – Local Sites 20

Attitudes Towards Heritage (1) 23

Attitudes Towards Heritage (2) 26

The Local Area 29

Biggest Local Issues 31

What Would Encourage You to Visit Heritage Sites? 33

Participating in Heritage 35

Heritage Spending Priorities 37

Qualitative Summary 37

Main Findings 41

Leisure Time 41

Definitions of Heritage 43

The Built Environment 44

Places of Worship 52

Values, Traditions and Culture 54

Language 60

Education 61

Food 63

Events and Festivals 63

Parks and Public Places 65

People 65

Local Landmarks 67

Identity 68

Identity 68

Integration 70

Barriers to Heritage Sites 74

Relevance of Existing Facilities 74

Other Barriers 76

Making Heritage Relevant 78

The Ideal Location 85

Sampling Tolerances 1

Social Class Definitions 3



The State of the Historic Environment Report 2002 identified that a key challenge facing the heritage sector is to know who participates in the historic environment, which communities and sectors of society continue to be excluded, and what current barriers are to greater access and participation. At the same time, the DCMS has established a PSA target of 100,000 visits to the historic environment by new users from minority and socially deprived groups by 2005/6. This is part of the Department's strategic commitment to open up institutions to the wider community, to promote lifelong learning and social cohesion.

MORI has worked closely with English Heritage over the years, investigating attitudes towards the historic environment. Building on our work, which went to make up the Power of Place document, we have conducted further surveys specifically in London and Liverpool, investigating how people interact with their local area. Some of the most interesting findings came out of the initial research, where a series of qualitative focus groups were conducted following the quantitative study. This gave MORI the opportunity to delve deeper into the views of Black and minority ethnic groups (BMEs) in London, Birmingham and Leicester. This highlighted the fact that for many people in these groups, the traditional emphasis on built heritage, and a formal style of interpretation, is of little interest.


With funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage commissioned MORI to build on research already undertaken, to improve and further understanding of who is participating in the historic environment and how to better engage with excluded ethnic and socially deprived groups. The project aim was also to establish a benchmark for the participation by the priority groups on which to measure future progress over the years and to help evaluate the role of the historic environment in achieving social and economic objectives.


The research was split into three stages:

(1) Omnibus ‘Headline’ Study

(2) Detailed Quantitative Study

(3) Qualitative Focus Groups

Omnibus ‘Headline’ Study

A representative survey of GB residents was conducted to obtain an overview of awareness, attitudes to and participation in the heritage, which allows tracking of key questions. This study is reported in full under separate cover. However, where there are comparable questions, we have included these in this report.

Questions were placed on the MORI Omnibus, the regular MORI survey among the general public. A nationally representative quota sample of 1,649 adults (aged over 15) was interviewed in England by MORI in 190 different sampling points. Interviews were conducted face to face, in respondents’ homes, using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) between 25th - 30th September 2003.

Detailed Quantitative Study

Focusing on a selection of three ‘case study’ areas - Cornwall, West London and Bradford – this study investigates definitions of heritage, its meaning to people, barriers to access and reasons behind this;

This report presents the finds of the surveys conducted by MORI on behalf of English Heritage, DCMS and HLF. MORI Field & Tab conducted personal face-to-face interviews in home between 10 September – 5 October 2003. Quota samples were set for age, sex, class, working status, household tenure and ethnicity within each case study area and representative samples of adults aged 16+ were interviewed in Bradford (513) Cornwall (517) and London (501). Samples were drawn within a radius of English Heritage sites in Bradford and West London. The sample in Cornwall was county-wide. The data was weighted to be representative of each of the three areas.

As a general rule, please note that results for different sub-groups need to be at least four percentage points apart to be able to be confident that they are statistically significant, although this varies depending on the size of the sub-group, and the result in question. Please see the ‘Statistical Reliability’ section in the appendices for details.

Interpretation of the Data

Where percentages in charts and tables do not add to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding or to multiple-response questions, whereby respondents could give more than one answer to a question. An asterisk in the topline results denotes a value of less than 0.5 per cent, but greater than zero.

Copies of the results from the quantitative studies are appended. Detailed computer tables are contained in a separate document.

Qualitative Focus Groups

Given the timescale available for this project, the qualitative stage was conducted in parallel to the quantitative surveys. The groups helped to obtain a more in-depth understanding of people’s attitudes, and what can be done to encourage more interaction with heritage among excluded groups (that is Black and Minority ethnic groups and those in the lower socio-economic classes). It also enabled a focus on key sub-groups of interest e.g. local characteristics or ethnicity by class, family types, etc.

Focus groups encourage cross-fertilisation of ideas, to use different stimulus materials, and to interact more closely with participants.

A total of six groups were conducted: two in each of the three case study areas. Respondents were recruited in advance, to specific quotas (such as class, income, ethnicity and religion). Each focus group involved around 8 people and lasted c.90 minutes. An experienced researcher, based on a pre-agreed topic guide moderated them. The groups among specific ethnic communities were conducted by a same ethnic background moderator, in order to help respondents feel more at ease and relaxed. The groups took place in suitable venues (such as local hotels and community centres) on 17 and 18 September 2003. Participants were paid an incentive, to thank them for their time, and were provided with light refreshments. The discussions were tape-recorded, and transcribed, to ease reporting.

In terms of coverage, the groups focused on the following issues:

Perceptions of heritage and the historic environment;

Meaning of heritage in people’s lives;

‘Participation’ in heritage with reference to local sites;

Relationship between heritage and identity (personal/local/national);

Role of local heritage;

The role of heritage in education;

Barriers to participation and reasons behind this;

Opportunities to increase engagement.

Participants were given a disposable camera, in advance of the focus groups, and were asked to take a roll of photographs of their local environment – things that matter to them personally. The films were developed in advance of the group and were used as stimulus material to help respondents engage better with the subject.

Group Demographics


C1C2 Pakistani Muslims

Aged 16-24 females

Aged 25-44 males

(with kids in h/h)

West London

C1C2DE Afro-Caribbean

Aged 25-44

(with kids in h/h)

Aged 45+

(with/without kids in h/h)

Camborne, Cornwall

C2DE White

Aged 25-44

(with kids in h/h)

Aged 45+

(without kids in h/h)

Definitions, Presentation and Interpretation of Data

Qualitative research involves an interactive process between the moderators carrying out the research and those being researched. It provides a way of probing the underlying attitudes of participants, and obtaining and understanding of the issues of importance. The real value of qualitative research is that it allows insight into attitudes and the reasons for these, which could not be probed in as much depth with a structured questionnaire. However, it must be remembered that qualitative research is designed to be illustrative rather than statistically representative. Furthermore, it is important to bear in mind that we are dealing with perceptions rather than facts. Therefore, please take these issues into account when interpreting the research findings.

Throughout the report we have made use of verbatim comments to exemplify a particular viewpoint, although it is important to be aware that these views do not necessarily represent the views of all respondents.

A copy of the topic guide used in the discussions is appended.

Publication of Data

As English Heritage has engaged MORI to undertake an objective programme of research, it is important to protect the English Heritage’s interests by ensuring the research findings are accurately represented in any press release or publication. As part of MORI’s standard terms and conditions, the publication of the findings are therefore subject to advance approval by MORI. This would only be refused on the grounds of inaccuracy or misrepresentation.

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