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TCCE establishes a new National Centre for Academic and Cultural Exchange (NCACE)

NCACE Overview 


TCCE is delighted to announce a brand new National Centre for Academic and Cultural Exchange (NCACE) funded by Research England. The key purpose of NCACE will be to facilitate and support capacity for Knowledge Exchange between Higher Education and the arts and cultural sector across the country with a particular focus on evidencing and showcasing the social, cultural, environmental, as well as the economic, impacts of such activities.

Our new centre will work across a range of key areas designed to support this mission and will be delivered in partnership with a number of HEIs across the country. Our regional hub partners are all strongly networked with the arts and cultural sectors across the country and include: Bath Spa University, Birmingham City University, Manchester Metropolitan University and Northumbria University.

With a focus on realising and communicating the potential of Knowledge Exchange, in its widest sense, with the arts and culture sector, NCACE activities will be open to all HEIs in the country and to those working in the arts and cultural sector. It will support new thinking and approaches in the following areas:

1. Brokerage, Collaboration support and Networking
2. Skills and capacity development
3. Evidence building and Impact Development
4. Showcasing and Communications
5. Evaluation

All work will be underpinned by a keen attention to supporting inclusivity, difference and diversity.

“I am excited to be investing in this new centre that hopes to bring a step change in the ability of universities to support KE with the arts and cultural sector in this difficult time.

This is an important opportunity to better understand, demonstrate and further support and nurture the exceptional collaborative work that is being done across the country, and for Research England and universities to support the wider resilience of the sector into the future.”

David Sweeney,
Executive Chair of Research England ,

NCACE Activities


Brokerage, Collaboration support and Networking
NCACE will work to create positive ecologies and environments in which to foster excellent Knowledge Exchange and collaboration between Higher Education and the arts and cultural sector to support ambition around the wider potential and impacts for such work.

Associated activities and getting involved.

We will be running various workshops and activities including annual Ideas Labs alongside our Regional Hub Partners bringing together researchers and arts and culture sector professionals for challenge-led ideas generation across themes including: health, climate change, place-making and levelling out and technologies for social good. The first lab will take place in Spring 2021.

Skills and Capacity Development
NCACE aims to provide support and development opportunities to: Knowledge Exchange Professionals, academics with a keen interest in developing social impacts and arts/culture sector workers who wish to develop partnerships with universities.

Associated activities and getting involved.

Every year we will run a ‘state of the nation’ event on supporting and showcasing excellent knowledge exchange with the arts and culture sector and in Spring 2021 we will be launching our Knowledge Impacts Network (KIN). The network will be open to anyone who works in or is interested in Knowledge Exchange and partnerships between Higher Education and the Arts and Culture Sectors with a specific focus on work that supports wider social, cultural, environmental and economic impacts.

Evidencing and Impact Development
NCACE will establish a ‘what works style’ Evidence Bank over the four years of the project, addressing the need for more evidence and analysis specifically about the extent, nature, drivers and impacts of KE and wider relationships between Higher Education and the arts/cultural sectors.

Associated activities and getting involved.

From December 2020 we will be developing the NCACE Evidence Bank and we are keen to hear from those of you who may like to contribute case studies, reports or other materials that focus on collaborative activities between HE and the arts and in particular where there are social, cultural or environmental impacts arising from that work. We are also interested in interviewing people working in Knowledge Exchange with the arts so do get in touch if you would like to be part of that work which again will be commencing early new year. Email in the first instance.

Showcasing and Communication
NCACE aims to showcase models of good practice in KE with the arts and cultural sectors from universities across the country both through our Evidence Bank and other online resources as well as via our blogs, publications and bi-annual festival.

Associated activities and getting involved.

Please see more on ‘Getting Involved’ below.

Evaluation will commence right at the start of the programme and run throughout its duration. It will be led by our partners at Manchester Metropolitan University and its purpose will be to ensure ongoing dialogue and iteration across each area of work. The evaluation will be guided by the principles including Theory of Change and stakeholders across the programme will further drive the co-creation of our evaluation framework.

Getting Involved


We will be going live with our website in January 2021 and our launch event will take place in early February. Details of that event and other activities will be released both through the TCCE monthly e-newsletter and a separate monthly NCACE Update Bulletin. You can sign up for these here and follow us on Twitter @CultureImpacts.

LinkedIn and other social media platforms will be live by December. All new developments and opportunities will be announced via TCCE e-newsletter and the monthly NCACE Update Bulletin and via @CultureImpacts and @infoTCCE and other social media. For general enquiries, do get in touch with Noshin Sultan on


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