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Montague, LM., Powell, A., Swindells, S., 2015.

Exploring Place and Public Memory: Huddersfield and the Regional North

Output Type:Conference paper
Presented at:Contemphoto '15: Urban Identities, 2nd International Contemporary Photography Conference
Publication:Contemphoto '15: Urban Identities
Venue:Istanbul, Turkey
Dates:9/6/2015 - 10/6/2015

Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, England, faces a particular set of circumstances which are representative of those faced by many post-industrial settlements in current times. This paper traverses the socio-economic, political and cultural background to these circumstances: to broadly understand the interrelationship between urban design, the regional cultural offer and civic society through the lens of 'cultural economics'. At a time when much of Europe is still feeling the effects of the global recession; and when the north of England has been particularly devastated by cuts to public sector funding, it explores heritage, culture and history in relation to place-making and place 'branding'. It asks how a cultural offer within a locale might be understood in terms of economic infrastructure, and how culture as a social and economic resource might be strengthened by the support of local government and the community through 'creative consultation'. To gauge these issues as an initial barometer to 'life in Huddersfield' we talk and photograph people in close proximity to the town's art gallery and library about their perceptions.