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Inbetween: arts and regeneration in market towns

Lookup NU author(s): David Butler


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Inbetween is an AHRC funded networking project examining the role culture can play in the regeneration of market towns, or ‘inbetween’ places – those not entirely rural but not wholly urban. Led by Intersections, (research project directed by David Butler (PI) and Venda Pollock) it draws together partners from Dumfries, Hexham and Pontypool and an international, interdisciplinary body of researchers to critically consider the interaction of visual arts practice, policy and cultural infrastructure in the regeneration of market towns with a view to influencing policy and best practice. As market towns struggle in the current economic climate, this project is timely in pursuing the feasibility of alternative strategies to enable market towns to secure a sustainable future. Following the Labour Government’s Market Towns Initiative (2001) and initiatives such as 'Action for Market Towns' ( a definition has developed of ‘market, small or rural towns’ as having 1500-40,000 inhabitants. DETR sees them as having considerable policy relevance as hubs for economic development and regeneration but a decade after the launch of the Market Towns Initiative, and despite attention paid to arts in rural and urban centres, the potential of arts practice in this context remains inadequately explored.To tackle this knowledge gap the network will bring together practice-based and theoretical researchers from a range of disciplines including: arts practice, architecture and planning, heritage, cultural and economic regeneration, cultural policy and arts administration to develop a new knowledge base and facilitate knowledge transfer through an event in each town with two strands running concurrently (2012): • symposium examining key challenges faced by that location (AHRC funded) • practice-led strand addressing same core issues (fundraising with Paul Hamlyn and arts councils) .

Publication metadata

Author(s): Butler D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: In Press

Journal: Journal of Arts & Communities

Year: 2013

ISSN (print): 1757-1936

ISSN (electronic): 1757-1944

Publisher: Intellect Ltd.