The aim of the InHerit project is to develop the awareness of the economic value of the built environment that contributes to the cultural heritage of the community. In order to develop this awareness,
the partners in the InHerit project need to understand the vested interests of the built environment’s stakeholders; what are their views and how do they respond to the economic and cultural value of their built environment? One of the methodologies open to collecting this information is the use of focus groups.
One of the key advantages of having focus groups as a data source is that it provides information that is develop freely as the participants discuss or react to the topic. Unlike surveys there is a lack of structure to focus groups that can be used to dig for deeper meaning around what the economic and cultural value of a built environment means to the participants. However, this does not mean that focus groups are not focused; the role of the moderator or facilitator is different from an interviewer. The role of the facilitator or moderator is to ensure that the discussions stay around the topic.
As part of the InHerit project Middlesex University will organise and run focus groups to collect the views of the various stakeholders and beneficiaries of the InHerit programme. The focus groups will look specifically at three groups of people; owners, organisers and employees of buildings that have cultural significance; academics that have expertise in economic value development; and students who intend to study and/or work in the cultural heritage field. The data we collect from these three groups will enable the InHerit project to develop structures and frameworks that will enable the project to meet its objectives.