About the National Centre for Academic and Cultural Exchange (NCACE)

NCACE is an initiative led by TCCE and funded by Research England. We facilitate and support capacity for Knowledge Exchange between Higher Education and the arts and cultural sector across the UK, with a particular focus on evidencing and showcasing the social, cultural, environmental, as well as economic, impacts of such activities.

Read our Annual Report 2022/23

Read our Annual Report 2021/22

Read our Annual Report 2020/21

What we do

NCACE is working across a range of key areas designed to support our mission to facilitate Knowledge Exchange (KE), in partnership with a number of Higher Education Institutions (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 are open to all HEIs in the country and to those working in the arts and cultural sector. At the heart of our values is a keen attention to supporting inclusivity, difference and diversity. Our work primarily covers the following areas:


Evaluation is an integral part of NCACE running through every aspect of our work. 

Who We Are

The National Centre for Academic and Cultural Exchange (NCACE) is led by The Culture Capital Exchange (TCCE) and funded by Research England. We work in partnership with a number of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the country that act as NCACE regional hubs to support and facilitate Knowledge Exchange (KE).

Meet the NCACE team, our Regional Hub Partners, Sounding Board members and Collaborations Champions.

Regional Hub Partners

NCACE Regional Hub partners are strongly networked with the arts and cultural sectors across the country.

Bath Spa University Logo
BCU Logo
Manchester Metropolitan University Logo
Northumbria University Logo

NCACE Sounding Board Members

Our Sounding Board members provide insight and expertise around our key strands and subject matters, drawn from both Higher Education and the arts. Board members act as project ambassadors and will actively engaged with NCACE work, as well as our wider policy, social, environmental and technological shifts.

Collaborations Champions Network

Our Collaborations Champions work with us to develop a vibrant, valued community of practice in the field of cultural knowledge exchange.

Dr Nicola Abraham, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
Professor David Amigoni, Keele University
Dr Victoria Barker, Coventry University
Professor Angela Bartram, University of Derby
Dr Gavin Brookes, Lancaster University
Dr Susanne Burns, Susanne Burns Associates
Dr Glenda Cooper, City, University of London
Dr Mark Gray, Middlesex University London
David Hockham, Bathway Theatre, University of Greenwich
Sarah Naomi Lee, Plenty Productions CIC and Brighton and Hove Black History
Rupert Lorraine, University of Plymouth

Dr Fransiska Louwagie, University of Aberdeen
Kathleen Mitchell, Sunderland Culture and Sunderland City Council
Dr Aoife Monks, Queen Mary University of London
Irini Papadmitriou, Future Everything
Mark Prest, Portraits of Recovery
Helen Sargeant, University of Wolverhampton
Dr Rob Sherman, Bonfire Dog
Anita Shervington, BLASTFest
Becky Smith, Opera North
Paul Smith, Dance Consortia North West
Professor John Steel, University of Derby
Dr Michael Tymkiw, University of Essex
Kerry Wilson, Liverpool John Moores University

NCACE Background

NCACE builds on TCCE’s significant track record of work in supporting collaborations, partnerships, networks and engagements of various kinds between Higher Education and arts and cultural sectors since our inception as LCACE back in 2005. 

Since then we have been working to create opportunities to enable and catalyse knowledge exchange in its widest sense between HEIs and the arts and culture sector. 

In 2011, we were invited by Queen Mary, University of London to co-develop what would become Creativeworks London, one of the AHRC’s four funded Knowledge Exchange Hubs (2012 - 2016). Through that initiative, we funded over 100 creative collaborations between research and the arts, cultural and creative sectors. We concurrently established The Exchange (2015 - 2107) co-funded by HEFCE and Arts Council England which enabled us to support an additional 26 creative collaborations across the country.

Between 2017 and 2019, with colleagues at City, University of London and Manchester Metropolitan we conceived and co-led a major national programme funded by  Arts Council England programme entitled Boosting Resilience.

Our work on these projects indicated the need for greater support mechanism around knowledge exchange and this, alongside additional  research we carried out with stakeholders in both Higher Education and the arts and culture sectors, resulted in our decision to establish NCACE, with the support of Research England