Interview of Simon Thurley in the Horizon Magazine

The Horizon Magazine interviewed Professor Simon Thurley (former chief executive of English Heritage and Head for England) about the benefit of cultural heritage for Europe’s economy in the article entitled “Cultural heritage is an asset, not a liability - Professor Simon Thurley” published on 22 June 2015 by Joanna Roberts. The interview relates to the role of Simon Thurley as rapporteur for the Horizon 2020 expert group on cultural heritage, whose report, ‘Getting cultural heritage to work for Europe’, has been published in June.

The Horizon 2020 report illustrates about ten exemplar projects of heritage-led regeneration and innovative business models for cultural heritage around Europe. Simon Thurley explains: “Our point really is that we should make a more formal recognition that heritage is in fact a production factor in the economy. It’s not just about culture, it’s about economics.”.

It is also recalled that Horizon 2020, the EU's research funding programme, will allocate over €100 million for research and innovation in the field of cultural heritage in 2016-2017. To apply for funding, calls for proposals are regularly published on the Participant Portal (more information here).  

Backed by the Commissioner Carlos Moedas, Horizon 2020 will support the development of multinational, transdisciplinary demonstration projects that explore and showcase the potential of cultural heritage for urban and rural regeneration in Europe. They will involve a large array of stakeholders, including local and regional authorities, businesses, civil society as well as cultural heritage professionals and researchers, and serve as large-scale 'heritage labs' that can pave the way for new markets and jobs. (Source: ‘EU to increase funding for cultural heritage research and innovation’, 18/06/2015,


Link to the article