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Cultural Master Planning
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Cultural Master Planning

No corner of our planet is likely to remain untouched by the effects of the Covid-19 crisis.


The virus itself has taken lives, wreaking grief, fear and confusion. The subsequent lockdown has already destroyed jobs and businesses and threatens to destroy many more. An age of radical uncertainty has rushed in on us.


Nobody, anywhere yet understands the full scale of damage or knows what will happen next.


The cultural and creative industries - in the UK and globally - have been particularly hard hit. Among the first sectors to shut their doors, they may be among the last to come out of lockdown. The very existence of large parts of the sector is under threat, depending as they do on human congregation and on an ecosystem of freelance creatives and small businesses.


Over the past weeks we at BOP have attempted to ensure the safety and well-being of our people, whilst adapting to new ways of working. Some of us have experienced illness. Some have lost loved ones. All of us have witnessed at first hand the human toll of the crisis. Yet we have surprised ourselves: with our adaptability, emotional resilience and good humour. And we have been inspired by our clients and partners: their resolve, empathy and creativity.


As our collective thoughts turn to exiting the lockdown, there is a common theme to all our conversations. We may not know what will happen next, but we have a pretty good idea of the three steps we must take out of the crisis:


  • Relief. Surviving (or not). Ensuring the health and well-being of staff. Accessing national, local and sector support measures (a particular challenge for the creative sectors). Starting to plan the next two steps. Re-evaluating vision and purpose.

  • Recovery. Adapting and experimenting. Re-launching some activities. Experimenting. Planning for different scenarios, including future shocks. Building new relationships. Continuing to access external support.

  • Renewal. Re-booting. Restructuring. Rolling out new plans and models. Building in resilience for the next crisis.


Between Steps 1 and 2 the main question switches from ‘what can our country do for us’ to ‘what can we do for our country’? At each step there will be losses to bear, impossible decisions to make and big questions about our institutional and political capacity to agree on and work for the collective good.


In upcoming blogs we will be coming back to these questions as we work through them with our clients - and how they apply to practitioners, organisations and the sector as whole as well as to funders and government agencies.

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

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

May 13, 2020

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