Latest news


Heritage makes a significant contribution to our daily lives and reflects the diversity of both past and present communities. We need to be able to understand this better by researching how it contributes to a sense of identity; the value it has on our national and local economy; how it promotes wellbeing and how it strengthens, connects and empowers our communities. We need a better understanding of how heritage is meaningful to people in their everyday surroundings and why they engage with or feel excluded from their heritage.

Research Questions

What is the contribution of heritage to individual and societal well-being and how does it work?

Supporting statement

Heritage is a vital part of our society and contributes to social capital. It provides a link to the past, a sense of permanence, stability, and belonging. This in turn has many positive
benefits, including increased individual and community sense of self-esteem and identity, and positively impacts on individual health and well-being. It fosters strong, resilient and more
welcoming communities, and acts as a catalyst for involvement in shaping local areas.

What contribution would answering the question make?

Research into the complex relationships between heritage and society will have impact if it provides clear evidence for the real benefits the historic environment can offer society in terms of boosting pride in local areas, improving individual well-being and building better places to live and work. Innovative research data helping us to understand the range of values attributed to heritage by individuals and communities will help us shape our advice and policy, and will, in turn, ensure that more people can benefit from their heritage.

Useful Links/guidance

Heritage Counts: Heritage and Society

Question Metadata:

Research Frameworks:

Historic England Research Agenda

General Subject: Society, Well being,

Monument Term: n/a

Object Term: n/a



Relevance: England

Origin of question: Historic England Research Agenda project 2016/7

Question Status: Active

Date accepted: 1st June 2017

Date of review: 1st June 2020

Related or contributing questions to be uploaded: