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Cultural Leadership
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Cultural Cities Enquiry

Enriching UK cities through smart investment in culture.

The purpose of this report is to consider how we can radically increase the ability of our cities to use culture to drive inclusive growth.

Cultural Leadership

City of Culture projects show what can be achieved when a city pulls together in support of culture to drive lasting social and economic benefits. Launched earlier this month, the Cultural Cities Enquiry (CCE) proposes a mechanism for spreading these gains more widely across cities.


Central to this mechanism are the City Compacts for Culture. These will bring together local partners with a shared interest in maximising the civic role of culture. With Arts Minister, Michael Ellis pledging £110k in government funding to trial compacts across England, partners will work together to create and deliver a plan to drive social and economic benefits from a thriving cultural ecosystem. Compact partners will include business, universities, local authorities, the cultural sector and LEPs, and will pledge to align focus around key goals, in order to unlock new resources for cultural projects.


The key,” according to Graeme Thompson of Sunderland University, “is to bring together partners who will commit to a shared vision around the impact that culture can make across the city.


Compacts will determine and drive the contribution of culture to local industrial strategies and other local economic and social development plans, according to local priorities, including:

  • Development of Creative and Digital Clusters

  • Local skills strategies – growing, attracting and retaining talent

  • Tourism and destination management plans

  • Other local priorities such as health strategies, where appropriate

BOP was a member of the CCE’s working group, as well as acting as key research partner.


This is the first of a series of blogs related to findings of the CCE report. Our other blogs looked at the themes of talent, investment, and place.

New Cultural Leadership

City Compacts for Culture provide fresh direction

Feb 27, 2019

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

Jonathan Todd

Chief Economist

Jonathan is an economist with over a decade’s experience in impact assessment and evaluation, and high-level policy experience, particularly within the cultural and creative sectors.

Jonathan Todd - Chief Economist | BOP Consulting

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Jonathan Todd

Jonathan Todd

Chief Economist