Toolkit background and content

The Creative Cooperation in Cultural Heritage (CreativeCH) project aims to help regions and cities across Europe to benefit from their cultural heritage assets. The guiding assumption is that many benefits can be realized through cooperative projects of cultural heritage, cultural and creative industry and science & technology organisations and businesses. CreativeCH is funded under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union, specifically as a Support Action in the Science in Society strand of the programme. Among the goals of this strand is to promote new forms of creativity and innovation, involving science & technology, cultural and creative domains, and citizens, not just as beneficiaries but active participants.
As part of the support activities, the project produced a handbook on how to promote such creative cooperation with a focus on cultural heritage. This toolkit provides an interactive version of the handbook, including also additional and more detailed content on some topics (a digital copy of the printed handbook is available on the project website:

Content of the toolkit

Rich and diverse cultural heritage contributes to Europe’s strength in several respects, fostering citizens’ sense of belonging, inspiring arts and design, attracting tourists, for instance. But the contributions of cultural heritage are not simply given rather the values of heritage must be preserved and promoted.

The toolkit summarizes current knowledge about the role of cultural heritage in different fields, for example, revitalization of towns and regions, citizens’ cultural participation, cultural tourism, and cultural and creative industries. The topics covered have been discussed in expert workshops organised by the project in the years 2012 to 2014. Also included are 21 case studies of creative cooperation in different cultural heritage domains, including archaeological sites, historic towns, industrial heritage, among others. Building on the results of the workshops, case studies and other knowledge, the toolkit also provides a set of recommendations on good practice in creative cooperation. The content is freely accessible and published under a Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0).

Intended functions and users

The toolkit highlights the important role of creative, cross-domain cooperation in the communication and valorisation of cultural heritage assets in the benefit of towns and regions. It highlights values and benefits of heritage assets in economic, social and other respects such as regional identity and quality of life.
The toolkit emphasises communication because it is crucial for making cultural heritage known and appreciated and, in turn, helps making the case for preserving heritage sites, buildings and other objects. Therefore the functions of the toolkit are

  • to provide a useful knowledge base for creative cooperation projects,
  • to stimulate such projects through inspiring examples,
  • to make participants aware of success factors and lessons learned by other practitioners,
  • to provide recommendations on viable approaches and good practices.

The main intended user groups are cultural heritage institutions, creative businesses, centres of science & technology (including arts & humanities research and education institutions), and municipalities and regional development agencies. Special emphasises is also placed on the participation of citizens in projects, particularly students and other young people.