How we consulted with our local community

We have consulted with local residents, businesses and stakeholders in the development of our civic mission.

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In 2019, Goldsmiths initiated a number of consultations with local communities and with 11 other anchor institutions in the London borough of Lewisham. We wanted to explore how we could more effectively improve the lives of local people.

We have commissioned two external reports exploring how Goldsmiths is perceived by local residents and surrounding institutions. We have also run a series of listening exercises and roundtables. Our consultation has included:

  • Telephone interviews with 105 Lewisham residents
  • A series of ‘Community Conversation’ discussion events
  • Surveying of 30 key stakeholders via qualitative interviews
  • A research evaluation assessing the impact of Goldsmiths’ social, cultural and economic contributions locally and regionally
  • A series of stakeholder meetings leading to the co-production of our Civic University Agreement

Community perceptions

Around two thirds residents surveyed (77%) said that they were proud of Goldsmiths, but a further third said they were indifferent or unsure. Residents who live close to our campus (81%) are more likely to be proud of Goldsmiths than those who live in the outer area (19%).

These results show that we have real work to do engaging different communities across our borough.

Respondents were also asked how well they thought Goldsmiths engaged with its local community, using a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being extremely well. Respondents rated Goldsmiths at 3.27 on this scale on average.  

When asked what they most want to see more of from Goldsmiths, residents expressed a desire for:

  • more educational inspiration and provision
  • more, and more relevant, cultural activities
  • better communication of these opportunities

78% of residents thought that universities like Goldsmiths have a role in inspiring local children to think about their future and to stay in education, and in developing skills within the local community.

Local impact

Goldsmiths is one of the largest employers in Lewisham. It directly employs around 2,000 staff and contributes an estimated £61m annually to the Lewisham economy.

The university engages extensively with business, public and third-party organisations via a wide range of activities from Research and Development through to hosting of third-party events and leasing of facilities.

We have a significant cultural impact on the local area through the Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), through our public engagement activities, and through programmes of free concerts, performances and public lectures. Many of these activities are underpinned by longstanding partnerships.

Close consultation with local businesses, stakeholder groups and the core 11 anchor institutions at the heart of our CUA has been fundamental to arriving at the key principles and shared priorities at the heart of our Civic University Agreement.