Social Impact Study

Research to evidence the impact of rural touring.

The NRTF are undertaking an exciting research project in partnership with Coventry University. A grant of £156,202 from Arts Council England will enable a two year research programme to investigate the individual and community benefits of rural touring. The aim is to provide a national, evidence-based assessment of the state of rural arts provision and participation. We're particularly interested in finding out about the social and economic benefits of rural touring.

There are various phases to the project. The first is to review all the current and historical information available in this field. We've asked every rural touring scheme across the country to complete an online questionnaire detailing their activities and events. The schemes have kindly supplied this information and our researchers at Coventry University are analysing the data. They will then produce maps, showing the patterns and characteristics of rural touring in each area. From all of this we will produce an interim research report about the findings so far.

The second stage will involve a more in depth focus on four communities linked to two rural touring schemes. This will look at the impacts rural touring has in particular kinds of community.

The third stage will examine a further two communities and will examine the longer-term impacts of rural touring over a period of time. There will be a further interim research report after this stage, with a wider presentation of the findings.

Finally, there will be another questionnaire for the rural touring schemes, picking up on many of the findings the research has thrown up. There will also be interviews with various individuals and groups working and volunteering in rural touring. We'll produce a final report which we hope will be useful for everyone involved - examples of best practice, evidence for funders and stakeholders, identifying gaps in provision and painting a clear picture of rural touring across the UK.

Our collaborative approach will take account of and understand the differing needs of different places, as well as contrast rural and urban communities. Most importantly, the project will investigate the extent to which the experience of art and culture can help create more vibrant and sustainable rural communities.
We look forward to sharing research findings and case studies here.