Follow dcresearchUK on Twitter

Dr Stephen Connolly

A founding Director of DC Research, Stephen has almost 25 years research experience achieved through a combination of roles in both academic research and private sector research and consultancy. Stephen also brings additional commercial and client/customer service experience to DC Research from working in the UK banking sector in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.

Stephen was awarded his PhD in 2004 (for a thesis entitled ‘An Analysis of the UK National Lottery: estimating additionality for local government’) and is a Member of the Institute of Economic Development and the UK Evaluation Society.

Stephen’s work at DC Research involves managing and delivering national and local research studies and providing support to clients in the public, private and third sector across the UK. This includes evaluations, economic impact studies, policy research, socio-economic analysis and profiling, programme development, partnership assessments, impact and evaluation frameworks, and strategy/action plan development.

In recent years, Stephen has developed a wide-ranging portfolio of culture, museums, heritage, arts, and creative-sector related research experience. This experience complements his wider and long-standing research experience across a range of economic and regeneration fields stretching back to the mid 1990’s.

Away from work, Stephen helps teach karate at Borders Shotokan – a karate organisation with clubs in Carlisle (Thursby) and Dumfries and Galloway (Annan) –

Stephen’s experience includes managing and leading on the delivery of the following projects:


  • Evaluation of HLF Catalyst: capacity building programmes (Heritage Lottery Fund)
  • Evaluation of Recognition Scheme and Fund (Museums Galleries Scotland)
  • Evaluation of the Resilient Heritage Programme (Heritage Lottery Fund)
  • Hadrian’s Cavalry Exhibition – Evaluation (Northumberland National Park Authority and partners)

Economic Impact

  • Economic and Social Contribution of Independently Owned Historic Houses and Gardens (Historic Houses Association)
  • Economic Contribution Study: An Approach to the Economic Assessment of Arts & Creative Industries in Scotland (Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise)
  • Economic Impact of the ‘Poppies: Weeping Window at Woodhorn’ Installation (Woodhorn Trust)
  • Economic Impact Assessment of Eureka! The National Children’s Museum (Eureka!)
  • Economic Impact of BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Carlisle (Carlisle Tourism Partnership)
  • Economic Impact of the Arts in Northumberland (Northumberland Strategic Arts Forum)

  Policy Research

  • Mapping Museum Data in England (Arts Council England)
  • Museum Review Further Data Analysis – in support of The Mendoza Review: an independent review of museums in England (DCMS)
  • Taking Charge: Evaluating the Evidence of The Impact of Charging or Not for Admissions on Museums (Association of Independent Museums, Arts Council England and MALD, Welsh Government)

  Supporting Funding Bids and Advocacy

  • Advocacy Project for the Wales and West Army Museums Network (WWAM)
  • Economic Impact Assessments for Tay City Deal Project Applications (Dundee Heritage Trust)
  • Income Generation Project (Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust)
  • Workshop Facilitation – Fundraising Planning (Keswick Museum)

  Organisational Development

  • ‘External Audit’ of the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust (Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust)
  • Scottish Catholic Heritage Museum – Scoping Study (Scottish Catholic Heritage Collections Trust)

  Socio-Economic Studies

  • Baseline Socio-Economic Research for Economic Studies as part of Brand Management Work for Cumbria and the Lake District (Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council, Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, Cumbria Tourism)
  • Consultancy Services to Review the Business Support Needs of the Creative Industries in Dumfries & Galloway (Dumfries & Galloway Council)
  • Economic and Social Value of Gaelic as an Asset (Highlands & Islands Enterprise and partners)
  • Economic Profile of Winchester (Winchester City Council)

  Surveys and Consultations

  • Annual Member Survey Research for Historic Houses (Historic Houses)
  • Capital/Revenue Investment Research – supporting HLF’s submission to The Mendoza Review: an independent review of museums in England (Heritage Lottery Fund)
  • HLF Consultancy Support – Grantee Benchmarking Survey (Heritage Lottery Fund)