The University of Derby has been commissioned by one of the country’s most popular stately homes to measure its economic impact after agreeing a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) initiative with Chatsworth House, in Derbyshire’s Peak District.
The partnership aims to provide the team at Chatsworth with the skills needed to accurately assess the effect that the estate, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and its commercial activities have on the region.
Under the terms of the partnership, the University will recruit a graduate associate with the required level of economic expertise in business analytics to work on the project for a two-year period. During their time working with Chatsworth, the KTP recruit will introduce and embed knowledge into their practice and processes.
The graduate associate, supported by two economics academics from the University of Derby – Dr Nicola Lynch and Melanie Powell – 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.
KTPs are supported by Innovate UK government funding. This particular KTP has also secured 90 per cent of its funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, a government agency which supports high quality research in economic and social issues.
Professor Carley Foster, Head of the University of Derby’s Centre for Business Improvement, is overseeing the initiative.
She said: “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.
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.”