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BOP is British, European and global – and equally proud of being all three! 


Founded in Manchester, we now have offices in London, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Shanghai. The members of our talented and diverse team hail from 8 different countries and between them speak 12 languages. 


We stand for and stand up for openness, inclusivity and collaboration, as the following selected highlights from our work in 2016 show:


  • The 5th World Cities Culture Summit, co-organised by BOP, which brought leaders from 25 cities together in Moscow, considered the dilemmas posed by globalisation and growth – against the background of Brexit and the US elections. Read here about what cultural leaders in cities are doing in response to these dilemmas.

  • In the UK, we worked in over 25 locations with clients across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Most of our projects involved either developing new cultural facilities (Paisley, Wolverhampton, Belfast), increasing access to cultural opportunity (BFI Film Academy, Tyneside Cinema, Liverpool Biennial), or building the capacity of local sectors (games in the West Midlands, fashion in East London, theatre across the UK). There has rightly been soul-searching in the cultural and creative sectors about the social and economic divisions exposed by Brexit. But we know from work with clients across the UK that there is a huge amount being done every day to open access and extend opportunities. It has never been more important to recognise and build on this work.

  • As proud Europeans, we are delighted to be working on the evaluation of the European Union’s Creative Europe programme. The early results are reminders of how important European support has been to the creative industries of the UK and of the necessity of maintaining European ties, regardless of the exact nature of the eventual Brexit settlement.

  • Continuing the European theme, we worked for the first time with the Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF), helping to plan the future of their impressive cultural information service. As we enter the new world order, we will depend increasingly for multi-lateral organisations like ASEF, and its dedication to promoting greater cultural understanding, to maintain peace and prosperity.

  • In the same way, the (woefully under-acknowledged) work of the British Council, will be essential as Britain seeks to re-define its role in the world. This year we have completed an innovative project on how to assess the impact of cultural projects in development settings for the British Council. Next year we will be considering the future of the Council’s UK-based work – in the context of Brexit.

  • Our business in China continues to grow with a focus on projects encouraging cultural trade and collaboration. This year we have worked on: museums and performing arts, crowd funding, and IP-based trade. Early in 2017 we will be announcing a new joint venture to take forward these opportunities.


Finally, the most thoughtful response to this year’s political upheavals comes from Frank Cottrell-Boyce (screenwriter, novelist and the literary brains behind the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony). His generous and inclusive vision of the role of culture and creativity in these uncertain times will inspire us here at BOP in 2017.


We wish all of our clients, partners and followers across the world a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Bridges, not walls

Amidst all the talk of exits and walls, BOP pressed on with building bridges says MD Paul Owens in his review of 2016.

Dec 22, 2016

Green Cities helping climate change through culture and sustainability

Nov 4, 2021

How are major cities around the world responding to climate change through cultural policies and programmes?

The Green World Cities of Tomorrow: Culture and Sustainability

Paul Owens

Culture and the Climate Emergency

Apr 22, 2021

5 Priorities for World Cities in the post-covid recovery period

Culture and the Climate Emergency

Paul Owens

Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?

Dec 4, 2020

Culture can play an important role in recovery and renewal across the UK, if the right local decision-making is put in place

Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?

Callum Lee

Central London’s celebrated

Sep 23, 2020

This focused, coordinated set of measures can not only rescue the sector, but position it to lead the recovery

Central London’s celebrated cultural offer is in peril

Jonathan Todd

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3

Aug 21, 2020

Three big questions as applications close for Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2

Jul 30, 2020

The UK’s £1.57 billion recovery package: priorities for a New Deal

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place

Jul 20, 2020

Cities are using their unique capabilities to lead recovery and renewal

COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1

Jul 7, 2020

Investing in recovery, planning for transformation

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1

Paul Owens

COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries

Jun 30, 2020

Recovery and renewal will depend on how we address the three dimensions of the crisis

COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries

Paul Owens

Take planning and collaboration to whole a new level.

Jun 3, 2020

In the face of radical uncertainty leaders and policy-makers will have to take planning and collaboration to whole a new level

‘Plans are useless, planning is essential’

Paul Owens

Relief, Recovery and Renewal

May 13, 2020

Nobody knows what will happen next, but we have a good idea of the three necessary steps out of the crisis

Relief, Recovery and Renewal: navigating our way to a new kind of future

Paul Owens

The Golden Thread in the 2020s

Dec 20, 2019

A cause for optimism

Weaving the Golden Thread into the 2020s

Paul Owens

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By BOP Consulting

Paul Owens

Co-Founder and Director

Paul is a leading international advisor and practitioner in cultural policy and creative economy. He is Co-Founder of BOP, and alongside his fellow directors he has pioneered now well-established methods to measure the impact of cultural policy. 

Paul Owens - Founder and Director | BOP Consulting

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Paul Owens

Paul Owens

Co-Founder and Director