What is the economic impact of Chatsworth House?

Posted on: 15/10/2019

A new Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Derby seeks to find out.

One of the country’s most popular stately homes, Chatsworth House in Derbyshire’s Peak District, and the University of Derby have entered in to a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to measure the economic impact of the stately home which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The partnership aims to provide the team at Chatsworth with the skills needed to accurately assess the effect that the estate and its commercial activities have on the region.

As with all KTPs, the University will recruit a KTP Associate to manage the project. Here the requirement is for someone with the appropriate level of economic expertise in business analytics to work on the project for a two-year period during which time  the KTP Associate will introduce and embed knowledge into Chatsworth’s practice and processes.

Supported by two economics academics from the University of Derby, Dr Nicola Lynch and Melanie Powell, the KTP Associate will create mechanisms for data collection and measurement to make it possible for the economic impact work to be done in-house, rather than having to hire external consultants, which has been done in the past.

This is one of the key advantages of KTP – transferring and embedding knowledge within the organisation so that it can be of benefit during as well as long after the project has finished. By creating a dynamic three-way partnership between an organisation, a specialist academic team and a highly skilled graduate or post-graduate, KTPs enable a unique collaboration which not only delivers a strategic project but also creates lasting change.

This step-change is something which results from most KTP projects, as Knowledge Transfer Adviser,  Philippa Ryan. reflects. She is one of 31 specialist Knowledge Transfer Advisers from the Knowledge Transfer Network who delivers the KTP programme for Innovate UK . She welcomed the project saying “Chatsworth House and the Devonshire Group more widely engage in an incredibly diverse and complex range of activities, all of which require careful management to ensure that best use is made of assets and also that their use complements and enhances the economy of the surrounding area.

Balancing the measurement of economic impact alongside environmental and social sustainability requires the latest academic insights into behavioural economics to inform strategic decision-making Рworking in partnership through the KTP will develop valuable new tools and techniques that can be shared with others in the heritage sector.”

Professor Carley Foster, Head of the University of Derby’s Centre for Business Improvement, is the project’s Academic Supervisor who added: “This is a really exciting project and a wonderful opportunity for the graduate that we recruit. Using their expertise, they will enable staff at Chatsworth to learn how they can measure the economic impact of its commercial activity in a standardised way. The task will be to develop data collection tools and templates, complete with user guides, which staff at Chatsworth can use to support their changing needs in the future.

“This has the benefit of enhancing the skills and knowledge of current employees, something which can’t be gained by hiring external consultants. As well as aiding the professional development of the staff, it will help Chatsworth to evaluate its activity in-house all year round, which will give its staff greater control and ownership of that process.”

Andrew Lavery, Chief Executive of the Chatsworth House Trust, said: “Everyone at Chatsworth is very aware of the fact that our future is intrinsically linked to the future of our local communities, employees, visitors, suppliers and partners. This awareness has been the driving force behind a new initiative called Our Commitment to Our Shared Future, which details 10 goals we will deliver over the next 10 years, including doubling the benefit to local economies from our organisations.

“The insight that this partnership with the University of Derby will bring will be invaluable in helping us deliver this goal, and will provide the team at Chatsworth with new skills to make more informed decisions for the benefit of the Chatsworth House Trust charity, and our local communities, for many years to come. It is also an excellent opportunity to further strengthen the relationship we have with the University.”

The University of Derby signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Chatsworth House Trust and the Devonshire Educational Trust in 2018, pledging to work more closely together in future.

The University’s Chancellor is Lord William Burlington, son of the current Duke of Devonshire, who had himself been Chancellor for more than a decade before stepping down.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “I am delighted that our long and fruitful relationship with Chatsworth and the Devonshire Educational Trust includes initiatives such as this Knowledge Transfer Partnership. To work together in practical ways was at the heart of our strategic partnership agreement.

“Our solution-focused approach is proving successful and we are delighted to have been selected to work with one of the premier tourism businesses in the country.

“Not only will this project provide valuable insights to Chatsworth and its staff, but it will provide a superb opportunity for the successful graduate to work alongside one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations with the support of University of Derby academics.”

Click here for more information about the project and applying for the post.


About KTP


Knowledge Transfer Partnerships aim to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills within the UK knowledge base.


Applications for KTP funding are open throughout the year. The current round of funding applications closes at midday on 11 December 2019. Applications enjoy a high success rate due to the support of a Knowledge Transfer Adviser in helping prepare your funding application.


If you think a KTP could be the right mechanism for your company, talk to one of our specialist Knowledge Transfer Advisers.

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