<style> .ev { opacity: 1 !important; transform: translate(0) !important; } </style>

Beyond Imagination Life Survey

ImaginationLancaster investigates major areas of modern life from health to travel to help shape the future of two local districts

Date Published: 12 May 2021

ImaginationLancaster – Lancaster Universities design-led research lab, in conjunction with Lancaster City Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council, has commissioned BMG Research to conduct a wide-ranging ‘Life Survey’ to establish the views, attitudes and experiences of residents in each area.

Beyond Imagination

In 2019 Lancaster University’s ImaginationLancaster was awarded £13.2m funded by Research England and Lancaster University over 3 years for a project titled Beyond Imagination. Led by Professor Leon Cruickshank, Director of Research at ImaginationLancaster, Beyond Imagination explores and demonstrate how cutting-edge design research can create a healthier, more prosperous and sustainable world. Working closely with local stakeholders was a key element of the strategy for Beyond Imagination. In late 2019 discussions were initiated with Lancaster City Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council to consider how the project could contribute to local priorities and support the council’s work.

Life Survey

Alongside other council activities to engage and connect more effectively with residents and communities, one of the priorities identified was to conduct a wide-ranging resident survey. The survey of just over 2,400 residents will aim to gather a representative picture of views, attitudes and experiences, which will in turn inform strategy, activities and research opportunities for ImaginationLancaster, the local authorities and other local partners.

 Survey Themes

From the outset of the survey project, ImaginationLancaster has sought to ensure the content of the survey is meaningful and useful to stakeholders in both the Lancaster district and Blackburn with Darwen, as well as providing opportunities for collaborative research with Lancaster University.

Lancaster City Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council priorities have formed a key part of the survey development throughout, resulting in a survey structure which combines the needs of different stakeholders, based on four themes:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Wealth and Opportunity
  • Sustainability, Transport and Travel
  • Connected Communities and Services

Survey Content

The development of specific survey questions was a collaborative activity, with officers from both councils working with ImaginationLancaster academics and BMG Research to identify questions which would provide opportunities for further action and / or research in priority areas.

How the survey data will be used

Lancaster University want to better understand the Lancaster District and Blackburn with Darwen areas to undertake their research. The results of the survey will provide an evidence base for the University and local authorities to prioritise activity that will help everyone in your area. The design of the survey has been based on the possible opportunities each priority area and question could present for future action and / or collaborative research. This could result in future publications, reports and presentations about the survey. No identifying information will be passed onto Lancaster University and its partners from BMG Research.

ImaginationLancaster is also undertaking an innovative data analysis and visualisation of the survey data in collaboration with the Connected Places Catapult– the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport and places.

Please note that residents are not able to volunteer to complete the survey. BMG Research will be contacting residents to ensure the responses are fully representative of both districts. 


Survey activity will commence by seeking online responses from the week commencing 26th July 2021. This will be followed by further Covid-safe in-person interviews to ensure a full, representative response across both districts. Survey participants will be invited to take part in a prize draw to win one of 3 x £500 shopping vouchers as a thank you for participating in the survey, in a prize draw operated by BMG Research.  All participants will be fully informed as to the purpose of the survey and how the information will be used.

Communications and Contact

If you or any residents or local stakeholders have any queries regarding the survey, ImaginationLancaster will be pleased to help you. You can contact the team at any time via lifesurvey@lancaster.ac.uk

Should you wish to contact either of the local authorities please contact them through their web sites at:

Lancaster City Council


Blackburn with Darwen Council





Related projects